Are small-biz PC makers a thing of the past?

The Small Business Administration may waive a regulation that has given small-business manufacturers of personal computers an advantage in selling their computers to the federal government.

SBA issued a notice Oct. 5 of its intent to waive the Nonmanufacturer Rule for Personal Computers because, SBA has determined, there are no small-business manufacturers supplying them to the federal government. The waiver would allow all computer manufacturers to sell their hardware to federal customers, even through contracts set aside for small businesses, service-disabled veteran-owned small business or SBA's 8(a) Business Development Program.

The Small Business Act authorizes SBA to waive the rule 'for any class of products for which there are no small business manufacturers or processors available to participate in the Federal market.'

SBA is accepting public comment on the proposed rule change for the next 15 days. Comments should be addressed to Edith Butler, program analyst, (202) 619-0422, Fax (202) 481-1788; or email edith.butler@sba.gov.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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