Small Business Reserve Program

Overview

Maryland’s is committed to the growth and success of small businesses. 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 and procurements by establishing a unique marketplace where small businesses compete against other small businesses instead of larger, more established companies. Once a solicitation has been designated as “SBR,” an award can only be made to a registered SBR vendor. 

Each agency staffs an SBR Liaison whose role includes serving as an advocate for SBR vendors
actively working on contracts within that agency.

Both the Department of General Services  and the Governor's Office of Minority Affairs play a critical role in ensuring the success of the SBR Program. General Services is responsible for managing the business registration and certification process; maintaining the directory of certified small businesses; and auditing firms to ensure that only qualified small businesses are on the certified list of vendors. The Office of Minority Affairs is responsible for program compliance in the areas of training and technical assistance for participating agencies; monitoring procurement activity to ensure that the program is utilized to the fullest extent possible and that all SBR reporting requirements are met. 

The SBR Program applies to 23 designated State agencies.  Under the State Procurement Law, these agencies are required to spend at least 10% of their total fiscal year procurement expenditures with qualified small businesses.  Md. Code Ann., State Fin. & Proc. Art. §14-501 - 14-505 (2011 Supp). 

Click Here for the designated agencies​.

A race-and gender-neutral program, minority status is not a criteria for participation in the SBR Program. 

The small business eligibility standards for for-profit businesses, other than a broker, participating in this program are:

  • 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 mose 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 of the business's existence. For newly formed businesses the determination will be based upon employment levels and projected gross sales.

SBR does not apply to procurements that are 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.​