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Selling to the Government FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Government Contracting in New Hampshire

  1. How does a business qualify for help from the NH APEX?
    Companies must have a business with a physical location in New Hampshire; a home office would qualify. The process begins with an assessment, and work really begins when the company makes a decision to pursue government contracting. Services are free. While the APEX office is located in Concord, staff  works with clients virtually and routinely visits clients throughout the state.

  2. What does the government buy?
    The federal government buys the same goods and services as private industry in addition to specialized services, materials and equiptment. However, the way it procures them is different than private industry, with specific rules and regulations overseeing the process. 
  3. Does the government really buy from small companies?
    Yes. Over 23 percent of all federal government contract spending is spent with small businesses, including hundreds of New Hampshire companies. 
  4. Will it take forever to get paid?
    No. Companies that deliver what is promised in their contract and follow the procedures receive timely payment via electronic funds transfer. 
  5. Why are there so many steps and red tape?
    Unlike private companies, government agencies are accountable to taxpayers, who expect transparency, accountability, and fairness. 
  6. Are there special designations for minority-owned and historically disadvantaged businesses?
    Yes. The SBA's Small Disadvantaged Business and 8(a) Business Development program as well as the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program by the Department of Transportation ensure nondiscrimination in the award and administration of federal contracts. These programs creates a level playing field for small companies that are Black, Hispanic, Native Americans, Asian-Pacific Islanders, Subcontinent Asians, or women-owned.

    The 8(a)Business Development Program is administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to help Small Disadvantaged Businesses compete in the U.S. economy by providing advantages and benefits in the federal procurement process.

    The Women-Owned Small Business and Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB and EDWOSB) program by the SBA offers federal contracts to women-owned businesses. Criteria to qualify as a WOSB include 51 percent ownership by a woman or women, and additional standards. WOSBs may also qualify as EDWOSBs by meeting a detailed means test. The SBA offers a free online certification process for WOSBs and EDWOSBs.
    The Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) program provides contracting assistance to companies in certain areas, as prescribed by the SBA. The program encourages economic development and increase employment in these distressed urban and rural areas. 
  7. What about special designations for veteran-owned businesses?
    Yes. The SBA provides small business programs for veterans and service-disabled veterans. The VA has power to preferentially select Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) contractors and has contracting goals for both VOSBs and SDVOSBs. The SBA also offers support for veteran business owners through funding programs, training and federal contracting opportunities. The Veterans Business Outreach Center offers free assistance to veteran-owned businesses. 
  8. Are there ways companies can be involved without dealing directly with government?
    NH APEX often helps companies prepare for government contracting by becoming a subcontractor or supplier on government contracts. This can be an excellent way to get started and is the best long-term role for many businesses.

  9. How does a business qualify for help from the NH APEX?
    Companies must have a business with a physical location in New Hampshire; a home office would qualify. Services are free, buty clients are required to sign up online.

  10. How many of them succeed in getting contracts?
    In 2020, New Hampshire businesses were awarded over  $4 billion in federal contracts and subcontracts.
For more information about government contracting, contact APEX Accelerator at 603-271-7581 or via email.

This APEX Accelerator is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the Department of Defense.