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Think "Micro" For "Macro" Results!

Updated: May 4

(Updated Apr 2024)


Looking for a way to get your foot in the door with an agency? Everyone wants the $1M contract but sometimes thinking "micro" can maximize your exposure.


The Government Purchase Card, or GPC, is the Federal Government's preferred purchasing method for "micropurchases", which are buys that are:

  • At or below $2,000 for construction subject to Wage Rate Requirements (Construction) (WRRC) (40 U.S.C. chapter 31);

  • At or below $2,500 for services subject to Service Contract Labor Standards (SCLS) (41 U.S.C. chapter 67);

  • At or below $10,000 for supplies, services not subject to SCLS, or services from institutions of higher learning at a higher threshold, as determined appropriate by the head of the agency and consistent with clean audit findings under 31 U.S.C. chapter 75, Requirements for Single Audits; an internal institutional risk assessment; or State law; and

  • in support of a contingency operation; to facilitate defense against or recovery from cyber, nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological attack; to support a request from the Secretary of State or the Administrator of the USAID to facilitate provision of international disaster assistance; or to support response to an emergency or major disaster, except for construction subject to Wage Rate Requirements (Construction) --

(1) at or below $20,000 in the case of any purchase to be made inside the United States; and

(2) at or below $35,000 in the case of any purchase to be made outside the United States.


Federal agencies used the GPC to buy $25.76B in goods and services in FY2023, with $14.4B going to small businesses. There are 709,036 GPC holders as of Sept 2023 making over 20.3M transactions.


Why not get a piece of that pie as a small business?


When marketing, let agencies know that no task is too small and your business accepts the GPC. Why is using this strategy important when you're starting Federal government work?

  • GPCs are specifically designed for use throughout agencies by trained non-acquisition personnel (e.g., program, safety, training, HR, legal, emergency response) who are typically the end user / customer.

  • The Federal Government isn't required to compete micropurchases. Agency cardholders can come directly to your business.

  • Your business does not have to be registered in SAM.gov to receive micropurchases.

  • Excellent performance on micropurchases gets you name recognition with the people who establish future and sometimes much larger requirements.

  • As a former CO/KO, cardholder, and governmentwide GSA SmartPay Purchase Card SME, I can confirm that micropurchases are used often by agencies to try out new small businesses without the performance risk of a larger contract.


There is nothing special needed to accept the GPC. If your business can accept Visa or Mastercard, you can accept the GPC.


For vendor information related to the GPC (also called the "GSA SmartPay Purchase Card") visit https://smartpay.gsa.gov/content/gsa-smartpay-vendors


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This is a helpful post and thanks for it. It is accurate to say that a strategy might be to prepare one-page proposals for services that meet these levels (in my case it would be professional services under $10K) and then reach out and introduce our company as well as the proposal to ... whom, exactly?

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