The Department of Energy has joined the ranks of government agencies aligning part of its respective small business regulations with the SBA.
The DOE has issued a class deviation expanding the pool of companies eligible to be proteges under the DOE mentor-protege program. This deviation comes almost 20 years after DOE first published guidelines for its formal DOE mentor-protégé program and almost three years after SBA formally established a government-wide mentor-protégé program.
In late 2016, the SBA rolled out a fantastic tool to help small business grow in the marketplace.
Here are five things you should know about the SBA All Small Mentor-Protégé Program:
The SBA’s All Small Mentor-Protege Program office has issued its annual evaluation forms for ASMPP participants. The purpose of the reports is to “determine whether the business is eligible to continue to participate in the All Small Business Mentor-Protege Program.”
The annual evaluation process requires participants to complete two forms: a nine-page protege evaluation report, and a separate five-page mentor evaluation addendum.
The SBA has published a list of active All Small mentor-protege agreements. The list, which is available on the SBA’s website, is dated April 5, 2017. It’s not clear how often the SBA intends to update the list.
The April 5 list reveals that there are approximately 90 active All Small mentor-protege agreements, covering a wide variety of primary industry classifications. All major socioeconomic categories (small business, 8(a), SDVOSB, HUBZone, EDWOSB and WOSB) are represented.
There’s no reason why mentor-protege pairings should be a secret. Kudos to the SBA for publishing the list, which will be useful to contracting officers and industry alike (as well as those of us who are simply curious by nature).
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.
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.
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.