SBA program helps construction firms obtain bonding

More than $30 million in bonds were awarded in Colorado through a federal program designed to help small construction businesses obtain the bonding required for contract work.

The U.S. Small Business Administration operates the program guaranteeing the bid, performance and payment bonds required of businesses involved in contract work.

The program enables surety companies to bond small businesses having difficulty obtaining bonding on their own. More than $30 million in bonds issued by surety companies were guaranteed under the program during the 2013 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30.

Nationwide, the program helped small construction firms earn more than $1.2 billion in contracts during the 2013 fiscal year, a 61 percent increase over the 2012 fiscal year.

The SBA also guaranteed bonds for public and private contract bids valued at a total of $4.9 billion.

Over the past seven years, several measures of the program have increased, including the number of bond guarantees issued, the number of small businesses receiving assistance and the number of contract dollars awarded to those businesses.

The contract ceiling for the program was increased from $2 million to $6.5 million. A quick bond guarantee application is available for contracts valued at $250,000 or less, reducing the underwriting information and paperwork required on larger contracts.

For more information about the program, including assistance in locating a surety company  and completing applications, visit