Small Businesses Team Up to Land Federal Contracts

Construction crews work on a freeway overpass along Highway 101, in Novato, California Photograph by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Back in 2008, Randy Lebolo sensed the housing market was “going down hard,” so he started looking for ways to diversify his commercial construction business. The Colombian immigrant certified his Boynton Beach (Fla.)-based company as a small, disadvantaged business through the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program. The certification, which took six months and cost Lebolo about $5,000 in time and consulting fees, gives his 13-employee business an advantage: Government agencies set aside projects on which only 8(a) certified companies can bid.

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