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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Small Business Program


The Department of Health and Human Services is committed to helping small businesses in their pursuit of health and human services related contracts.

For More Information on HHS’s Small Business Program and/or  Resources to support your understanding on doing business with HHS/ASPR please contact the HHS Office of Small and Disadvantage Business Utilization (OSDBU) Small Business Specialist Marvin Center at 202-692-4775 or

Subcontracting Opportunities for Small Businesses

Did you know that locating and securing subcontracting opportunities can be just as valuable as receiving direct contract awards?

Just as federal agencies have small business preference program goals (such as small business, HUBZone, Service Disabled Veteran, Women etc), prime (Large Business) contractors performing work on federal contracts valued over certain dollar thresholds ($650,000 (including options) or $1,500,000 for construction) have similar goals built in to their contracts. In addition to marketing to the right Government agencies, marketing to other prime (Large Business) contractors will maximize contracting opportunities.

What are the subcontracting program requirements for Prime (Large Business) Contractors to HHS?

  • Inclusion of Small Businesses: Any contractor receiving a contract for more than the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT) must agree in the contract that Small Businesses (SB), Small Disadvantaged Veteran-Owned Businesses (SDVOSB), HUBZone SB, Small Disadvantaged Businesses (SDB), and Woman Owned Small Businesses (WOSB) will have the maximum practicable opportunity to participate in contract performance, consistent with its efficient performance.
  • Subcontracting Plan Requirements: If the contract is anticipated to exceed $650,000 (including options) or $1,500,000 for construction then the successful offeror or bidder is required to submit an acceptable subcontracting plan in order to be eligible for award.
  • Review by the SBS and Small Business Administration: Prior to award, the proposed subcontracting plan must be reviewed by the Small Business Specialist (SBS) and a Small Business Administration Procurement Center Representative (SBA PCR). Contracting Officer negotiates goals and has final approval authority for any award.
  • Reporting Requirements: Terms and conditions of award will include information on submission of contractor’s bi-annual Individual Subcontracting Reports (ISR) and Annual Summary Subcontracting Report (SSR) through the Electronic Subcontracting Reporting System (eSRS).

How can my small business partner with a prime (Large Business) contractor?

  1. Identify prime (Large Business) contractors that do significant work for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, where there may be a logical fit for the services you provide. For instance, a biopharmaceutical company may want to identify larger biopharmaceutical companies working as prime (Large Business) contractors and/or just being awarded Federal contracts. There are a number of ways to identify these potential targets.   You will need to look beyond just the companies you know in your geographic area. is a great place to start, as it is the single posting site for all solicitations over $3,000.
  2. Research the prime (Large Business) contractors and identify not only the contracts they have performed but also their main mission, vision, and market. Identify their specific company goals, as well as company successes.
  3. Research their small business and diversity initiatives. Do they actively engage with the small business community? Do they have specific online tools and resources for companies looking to do business with them? Do they require other third party certifications OTHER than the Federal Government self-certification? (i.e. WBE)
  4. Identify the Small Business Liaison Officer or Diversity Officer within the prime (Large Business) contractor. You can also ask for the small business subcontracting plan administrator within the company. This is normally the person or office responsible for managing the subcontracting plans for the prime (Large Business) contractor, engaging and sourcing small businesses, and in larger companies, managing the company diversity/small business plan.
  5. Contract the  HHS Office of Small and Disadvantage Business Utilization Small Business Specialist who works with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.
  6. For industry interested in discussing their products with ASPR, there are several avenues available, including requesting a meeting with ASPR, requesting a meeting with BARDA, and BARDA Industry Day.

Request a Meeting with BARDA:

As part of its mission to advance innovation, BARDA meets with companies that have promising technologies which may help the Nation respond to a public health emergency, either naturally occurring or intentionally induced. Learn More >>

  • This page last reviewed: May 03, 2022