Small Business Reserve Program

Overview

Maryland is committed to the growth and success of our small business community. In 2004, the state created the Small Business Reserve (SBR) Program, providing small businesses with the opportunity to participate as prime contractors on state contracts by establishing a unique marketplace where small businesses compete against other small businesses instead of larger, more established companies. 

Under state procurement law, the SBR Program directs 70 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. Certification is an online process through the vendor registration process on the state's eProcurement platform - eMaryland Marketplace Advantage (eMMA)​ Vendors attest to meeting the eligibility standards and must re-certify annually. There is no cost to participate in the SBR Program.

This is a race- and gender-neutral program. Minority status is not a criteria for participation in the SBR Program. ​(See Md. Code Ann., State Fin. & Proc. Art. §14-501.)

For-profit businesses, other than a broker, must meet defined eligibility standards to particiapate in this program as a certified SBR vendor.

SBR Program Elegibility Standards:

  • The business is independently owned and operated.
  • The business is not a subsidiary of another business.
  • The business is not dominant in its field of operation.
  • The wholesale operations of the business did not employ more than 50 persons, or the gross sales of the business did not exceed an average of $4,000,000 in its most recently completed three fiscal years*.
  • The retail operations of the business did not employ more than 25 persons, or the gross sales of the business did not exceed an average of $3,000,000 in its most recently completed three fiscal years*.
  • The manufacturing operations of the business did not employ more than 100 persons, or the gross sales of the business did not exceed an average of $2,000,000 in its most recently completed three fiscal years*.
  • The service operations of the business did not employ more than 100 persons, or the gross sales of the business did not exceed an average of $10,000,000 in its more recently completed three fiscal years*.
  • The construction operations of the business did not employ more than 50 persons, or the gross sales of the business did not exceed an average of $7,000,000 in its most recently completed three fiscal years*.
  • The architectural and engineering operations of the business did not employ more than 100 persons, or the gross sales of the business did not exceed an average of $4,500,000 in its most recently completed three fiscal years*.
     

* 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 Elegibility Standards, please call 410-697-9600
and ask to speak with an SBR Program
compliance manager. 


Small Business Reserve Program
COMAR 21.11.01.06


SBR Liaisons

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.​

​​​​​​​

Program Links

​