8(a) Program: Lack Of Business Development Effort Results In Termination

An 8(a) firm’s failure to actively pursue its business has caused the SBA to terminate the firm from the 8(a) program.

Upholding the termination, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals noted that if an 8(a) firm’s fails to make substantial and sustained efforts to obtain business, the SBA is justified in kicking the firm out of the 8(a) program.

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8(a) Joint Ventures Are Not 8(a) Program Participants, Says SBA OHA

8(a) joint ventures are not 8(a) program participants, according to a recent (and commonsense) decision of the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals.

In its decision, SBA rejected a joint venture’s argument that its 8(a) joint venture agreement was essentially an 8(a) program application, drawing a jurisdictional decision between 8(a) program certification and 8(a) joint venture agreement approval.

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SBA 8(a) Program: Termination For “Full Time Employment” Violation Upheld

A participant in the SBA’s 8(a) Program was appropriately terminated because the company’s disadvantaged owner took another full-time job without the SBA’s permission.

The recent SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals decision upholding the termination is an important reminder of the limitations on outside employment for 8(a) owners–as well as a reminder of the importance to 8(a) firms of ongoing honesty and forthrightness with the SBA.

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8(a) Contractor Terminated For Subcontracting Limit Violations

A contractor was recently terminated from the SBA’s 8(a) Program for failing to comply with the subcontracting limits applicable to its 8(a) contracts.

The SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals upheld the termination, writing that the SBA had properly terminated the 8(a) contractor for “willfully violating SBA regulations.”  SBA OHA rejected the contractor’s argument that it was exempt from the subcontracting limits under the so-called non-manufacturer rule.

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After Successful 8(a) Appeal, Company Gains 8(a) Certification

Last month, I wrote about the successful 8(a) program appeal filed by Gearhart Construction Services.  In its decision, SBA OHA held that the SBA had misevaluated Gearhart on the “social disadvantage” factor, including by holding Gearhart to a too-high standard of proof.  SBA OHA ordered the SBA to correct its errors and take another look at Gearhart’s application.

Now I can report that Gearhart’s story has a happy ending.  On April 11, the SBA notified Gearhart that it had been admitted to the 8(a) program.  SBA OHA then dismissed Gearhart’s appeal as moot, because Gearhart and achieved its goal.

Sometimes, gaining admission to the 8(a) program requires tenacity and a continued belief in one’s case, even when the SBA’s 8(a) office has repeatedly denied the application.  Gearhart’s perseverance paid off, and the company now has nine years to reap the rewards.

Economic Dependence and the SBA 8(a) Program

A contractor’s economic dependence on another company can cause affiliation under the SBA affiliation rules, but economic dependence can also be a major problem when a company applies for 8(a) program certification.

As demonstrated in a recent decision of the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals, if an 8(a) program applicant has received most of its revenues from another company, the SBA may find that the applicant is economically dependent on the other company–and therefore, ineligible for admission to the 8(a) program.

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Groundhog Day is Here: SBA OHA Shoots Down Another 8(a) Program Rejection

In the 1990s comedy Groundhog Day, Bill Murray played a weatherman who found himself living the same day over and over again.  I am having the same feeling reading SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals cases these days (yes, this is what qualifies as my reading material of choice; don’t judge).

As it has at least five other times since December, SBA OHA has shot down the SBA’s rejection of an 8(a) application under the “social disadvantage” factor.  As was the case in several other recent decisions, the latest volley from SBA OHA states that the SBA failed to properly consider the evidence and explain its rationale for denying an 8(a) applicant.

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