Maryland's Prime Contracting Program
for Certified Small Businesses
Same day certification
Access to $599 million in state-funded contracts
Over 20% of all open solicitations are designated to certified SBR vendors
Check out all the details and JOIN TODAY!
SBR Program Overview
In 2004, the state of Maryland created the Small Business Reserve (SBR) Program, providing small businesses with the opportunity to participate as prime contractors by establishing a unique marketplace where small businesses compete against other small businesses instead of larger, more established, companies.
Small business vendors can received same day SBR certification through eMaryland Marketplace Advantage (eMMA), the state's online vendor platform and bid board. There is no cost to obtain the certification or maintain it through the annual renewal process (also online through eMMA).
Over 20% of all open solicitations are designated to SBR certified vendors, providing access to $430 million in state-funded contracts and receiving payments directly from the state as a prime contractor.
Under state procurement law, the SBR Program directs participating agencies/departments to spend at least 15% of its fiscal year procurement expenditures with qualified small businesses. Once a solicitation has been designated as “SBR,” an award can only be made to a certified SBR vendor.
SBR Certification can only be completed online through
the vendor registration process on the state's eProcurement platform - eMaryland Marketplace
Advantage (eMMA) Vendors must register for an eMMA account. After registering in
eMMA, vendors may access and complete a SBR application. Vendors attest
to meeting the eligibility standards and must re-certify annually.
There is no cost to participate in the SBR Program.
- Step 1 - Read the SBR Program Eligibility Standards below.
- Step 2 - Follow the link to the eMMA Login Page to register for a free eMMA account.
Step 3 - Follow this link to the eMMA Quick Reference Guide (QRG) for step-by-step instructions on how to access and complete the SBR Certification and
Recertification (Vendors) through your eMMA account. If you are experiencing problems with SBR certification or recertification in eMMA, assistance is available from a SBR Compliance Manager by calling 410-697-9600.
SBR Program Eligibility Standards (COMAR 21.11.01.06)
For the purposes of a Small Business Reserve Procurement, a small business is a for-profit business, other than a broker, that meets the following criteria:
A. It is independently owned and operated;
B. It is not a subsidiary of another business;
C. It is not dominant in its field of operation; and
(1) With respect to employees:
(a) Its wholesale operations did not employ more than 50 persons in its most recently completed 3 fiscal years;
(b) Its retail operations did not employ more than 25 persons in its most recently completed 3 fiscal years;
(c) Its manufacturing operations did not employ more than 100 persons in its most recently completed 3 fiscal years;
(d) Its service operations did not employ more than 100 persons in its most recently completed 3 fiscal years;
(e) Its construction operations did not employ more than 50 persons in its most recently completed 3 fiscal years; and
(f) The architectural and engineering services of the business did not employ more than 100 persons in its most recently completed 3 fiscal years; or
(2) With respect to gross sales:
(a) The gross sales of its wholesale operations did not exceed an average of $4,000,000 in its most recently completed 3 fiscal years;
(b) The gross sales of its retail operations did not exceed an average of $3,000,000 in its most recently completed 3 fiscal years;
(c) The gross sales of its manufacturing operations did not exceed an average of $2,000,000 in its most recently completed 3 fiscal years
(d) The gross sales of its service operations did not exceed an average of $10,000,000 in its most recently completed 3 fiscal years;
(e) The gross sales of its construction operations did not exceed an average of $7,000,000 in its most recently completed 3 fiscal years; and
(f) The gross sales of its architectural and engineering operations did not exceed an average of $4,500,000 in its most recently completed 3 fiscal years.
Note: If a business has not existed for 3 years, the employment and gross sales average or averages shall be the average for each year or part of a year during which the business has been in existence.
* If a business has not existed for three years, the gross sales average is computed for the period in which the business has existed. For newly-formed businesses the determination will be based upon employee levels.
If you have questions about the SBR Program Eligibility Standards, please call 410-697-9600
and ask to speak with an SBR Program compliance manager.
Each participating agency staffs an SBR Liaison
whose role includes ensuring SBR participation is being maximized at the onset of the procurement process and acting as an advocate for SBR vendors actively working on contracts within that agency.
The SBR Program does not apply to procurements subject to existing preferences for State Use Industries, Blind Industries and Services of Maryland, and sheltered workshops, or to procurements for which this program would represent a violation of federal law.
SBR Program Disclaimer
Anyone providing false information to the State of Maryland in connection with obtaining or attempting to obtain a contract designated to the SBR Program may be subject to the following:
1. A determination by a Procurement Officer that a bidder is not responsible;
2. A determination that a contract entered into is void or voidable under §11-204 of the State Finance and Procurement Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland;
3. Suspension and debarment under Title 16 of the State Finance and Procurement Article;
4. Criminal prosecution for procurement fraud ( §205.1 of the State Finance and Procurement Article), perjury, or other crimes; and
5. Other actions permitted by law.
The following documentation may need to be submitted and audited prior to an award being issued:
1. Three (3) years of federal tax returns (Form 1120 or Schedule C)
2. Articles of Incorporation, Organization or Amendments;
3. Certified Payroll Roster; and/or
4 Unemployment Insurance Quarterly Contributions Reports (2 years).
Failure to Meet Minimum Qualifications
Any Bidder or potential bidder failing to meet the minimum qualifications of a
“small business” specified in § 14-501(c) of the State Finance and Procurement
Article will be ineligible to participate in a procurement designated for the Small Business Reserve (SBR) Program under § 14-504. Any person or company bidding on a Small
Business Reserve procurement and not qualifying as a small business under §
14-501(c) will have its bid rejected on the ground that the bidder is not