MAIL BAG: SMALL OR NOT, HOW CAN YOU TELL?
New reader S. Nicks of Los Angeles, CA writes, “Our company provides a variety of services and products to federal agencies. Everything from Mac’s to Fleetwood guitars. We can’t tell if we’re small or not. Can you help? While it can certainly be a benefit to be a small business, our experience is that some companies can really break down and cry if they think they’re suddenly large. Being “other than small” is no reason to have your illusions of federal business shattered, though. Right now, most businesses identify as small based on their primary NAIC’s code. This should be the one that most closely identifies with how your company conducts most of its business. That can change, of course, and GSA is working on a system to allow multiple NAIC’s codes to be entered as a means of identification in SAM. If you’re a Schedule contractor with a NAIC’s code that makes you small, generally you qualify as such for business done under that Schedule. Otherwise, you’re considered small based on the NAIC’s code used in the contract or task order your agency CO issues. If the NAIC’s code listed matches your size, you’re small. This is one reason why some agencies and contractors engage in “NAIC’s code shopping”, a practice that we note happens, but do not endorse. Our bottom line advice is not to go your own way, S., but to be the best contractor you can be regardless of whether you’re large, small, or somewhere in between.