The Small Business Administration has initiated steps to reform category management as part of efforts to overturn the decline in small business contractors, Federal News Network reported Monday.

And so as a result, we negotiated with [the Office of Management and Budget] and the White House to have all the socioeconomic firms — that includes service-disabled veterans, women-owned businesses, all place-based HUBZone firms, and small disadvantaged businesses — into tier 2 of category management, which is the rating system that they had created,” said Bibi Hidalgo, associate administrator for government contracting and business development at SBA.

So that means that 33,000 more additional firms are part of that higher level tiering category, which will create more access for contract opportunities,” she told House Small Business Committee members during a hearing Thursday.

Hidalgo said the change has resulted in positive trends, such as the increase in the number of small business owners being contacted for contract opportunities.

“So we are seeing a difference. They are now reaching out more and more. My staff was just telling me this yesterday: Across the board agencies are reaching out to identify more businesses across all the socioeconomic categories,” she noted.

Hidalgo also talked about contract bundling and SBA’s efforts to address the certification process for women-owned small businesses and other small companies.