SBA Small Business Mentor-Protege Program: Applications Accepted Oct. 1, 2016

Circle October 1, 2016 on your calendar: that’s when the SBA will begin accepting applications for its new universal small business mentor-protege program.

According to the SBA’s new website for the small business mentor-protege program, applications will only be accepted through the SBA’s certify.sba.gov portal.  The SBA’s new website also has an overview on the small business mentor-protege program itself and a discussion of the eligibility requirements for the program.

For prospective mentors and proteges alike, there’s no time to waste in order to take immediate advantage of the new mentor-protege program.  Watch this space for additional information as the SBA makes it available.

SBA’s “Universal” Small Business Mentor-Protégé Program’s Impact On Other Agencies

With the finalization of the new SBA Small Business Mentor Protégé Program, other agencies without statutorily-authorized mentor-protege programs must seek SBA approval of their mentor-protege programs within one year, if they wish those programs to continue.

In a final rule scheduled to be effective August 24, 2016, the SBA questioned the need for other agencies (except the Department of Defense) to continue to operate their own mentor-protege programs, but provided a road map for agencies to preserve their separate mentor-protege programs if they wish.

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Universal Mentor-Protege Program Update: “June or July,” Says SBA

The SBA says that it expects to issue a final rule on its proposed “universal” mentor-protege program in June or July 2016.

Buried in an interview with Federal News Radio on the WOSB program (itself a worthy topic), John Shoraka, the SBA’s Associate Administrator of Government Contracting and Business Development stated that the SBA expects to issue a final rule this summer, and begin implementation in the fall.

Recently, many contractors have been asking me for updates on the universal mentor-protege program.  Now we have one, and it’s time for contractors to start seriously thinking about taking advantage of this major new program.

SBA Moving Closer To “Universal” Mentor-Protege Implementation

The SBA is moving toward implementing its proposed “universal” mentor-protege program for all small businesses.

According to testimony presented by the SBA’s Associate Administrator for Government Contracting Business Development at a recent Congressional hearing, the SBA has put together a Mentor-Protege Program Expansion Project Team to oversee the implementation of the new program.

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Joint Ventures: SBA Proposes Major Changes

The SBA has proposed major changes to rules governing joint venturing for set-aside contracts.

As part of a proposed rule released last week, the SBA proposes to eliminate so-called “populated” joint ventures, and proposes additional changes regarding joint venture certifications, performance of work reports, and more.

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Mentor-Protege For All: SBA Proposes “Universal” Mentor-Protege Program

The SBA has proposed to establish a government-wide mentor-protege program available to all small businesses.

In a proposed rule released yesterday, the SBA proposed to establish a single, “universal” mentor-protege program, open to all small businesses, not just those with certain socioeconomic designations.  And critically, the SBA’s proposed mentor-protege program would allow SBA-approved mentor-protege joint ventures to qualify as “small” for any federal government prime contract or subcontract–a benefit currently available only to 8(a) companies.

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8(a) Mentor-Protege JVs: Faulty JV Agreement Results In Affiliation

An 8(a) program protege was deemed affiliated with its mentor–and ineligible for a small business set-aside contract–because the joint venture agreement between the mentor and protege failed to comply with certain mandatory 8(a) joint venture requirements.

In a recent decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals concluded that an 8(a) mentor-protege joint venture was not entitled to take advantage of the special exception from affiliation because of the flaws in its joint venture agreement.  OHA’s decision is an important reminder to 8(a) mentors and proteges of the critical importance of strictly complying with the 8(a) joint venture regulation.

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