Skip to main content
Science and Technology Partnerships and Outreach Directorate

Small Business Contracting

Our commitment to small business

Argonne’s Small Business Program Office serves as advocate and point of contact for small businesses that are seeking contracting opportunities at the laboratory.

Its primary objective is to meet the needs of the laboratory with responsible and reliable small business concerns that deliver high-quality goods or services, on time and at a fair and reasonable price. The office strives to enhance the small business community by supporting recognized superior performers and offering guidance and support to help grow those small business concerns.

In Argonne’s Prime Contract with the U.S. Department of Energy, the laboratory has contractual goals for various types of small businesses in the following categories:

  • Small Business (SB)
  • Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB)
  • Woman-Owned Business (WOB)
  • Certified Historically Underutilized Business (HUBZone)
  • Veteran-Owned Business (VOB)
  • Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOB)

Argonne is subject to the laws and regulations governing subcontracting contained in the Small Business Act, 15 USC 637 and Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), Part 19. Specifically, Clause I.20 Utilization of Small Business Concerns states:

It is the policy of the United States that small business concerns, including: veteran-owned; service-disabled veteran-owned; HUBZone; small disadvantaged; and women-owned small business concerns shall have the maximum practicable opportunity to participate in performing contracts or subcontracts led by any Federal agency.”


  • Acquisitions exceeding $3,500, but not over $150,000 can be reserved exclusively for small business concerns and shall be set aside for small business unless the contracting officer determines that the small business concerns are not competitive in terms of market prices, quality and delivery.
  • Any acquisition over $150,000 shall be set aside for small business participation when there is a reasonable expectation that offers will be obtained from at least two responsible small business concerns, and awards will be made at fair market prices.
  • Any acquisition that is expected to exceed $750,000 ($1.5 million if construction) must have an approved subcontracting plan prior to award reflecting the maximum practicable participation by small businesses.