Rock Valley College
Rockford, Illinois

Selling to Primes

Subcontracting is defined as an individual or company hired by a prime contractor to perform specific tasks as part of the overall project or contract.

If a large corporation (considered a Prime Contractor to the federal government) is awarded a contract valued at $650,000 or more, they must submit a subcontracting plan because the federal government does flow down their national small business goals. As such, you may have opportunity as a small business to these identified businesses.

Each of these large corporations has an individual who holds responsibility of the federal contract and their title has been deemed Small Business Liaison Officer (SBLO). The SBLO is a corporate employee and is in place to assist in identifying potential small business sources. Your social designations may assist in marketing to these individuals i.e. small business, women owned small business, etc.

First and foremost you should always market your quality products/services, delivery, etc. There are three core federal agency listings of SBLOs that the federal government publicizes and those agencies are SBA, GSA and DOD. Each agency provides a comprehensive listing of all large corporations that hold substantial contracts which would entail a subcontracting plan. Each listing identifies a specific individual for small businesses to contact for their marketing efforts. The SBLOs are not required to do business with you, specifically, so marketing yourself as a capable and quality small business source will be the key.

SBA Subcontracting Opportunities provides the names and addresses for subcontracting plans that are submitted to the government when a large business receives a Federal contract over $650,000 (over $1.5 million in construction).

The GSA Subcontracting Directory is published for small business concerns seeking subcontracting opportunities with General Services Administration (GSA) prime contractors.

DOD's Office of Small Business Programs publishes a directory for all Department of Defense (DOD) large business prime contractors and subcontractors with Subcontracting Plans.

Another source that contracting officers use to locate subcontractors is SBA's Dynamic Small Business Search