The federal government buys an estimated $600-billion worth of goods and services every year. These purchases range from complex systems to cleaning supplies and engineering expertise to janitorial services. What’s more, under federal law, 23-percent of these contracts are to be set aside for small business—that’s $138-billion or more for small businesses to claim.

But, as a business owner, what if your interest is more on the local side of things? Though the rules are different, there is still plenty of opportunity along the Wasatch Front.

Although the State of Utah does not have a Small Business Set-Aside program, the state does offer a reciprocal preference for two types of business providers: products and construction.

When you bid on state work, here’s essentially how it works. If a responsible Utah bidder is not the low bidder, the state procurement code authorizes the buyer to offer the Utah bidder the opportunity to match the bid of the out-of-state competitor before making an award. The caveat is, those states must also have a program that gives preference to companies within their states. If the Utah bidder accepts the price offered, then the award can go to the Utah company.  The Utah Code defines the particulars for product providers and resident construction contractors.