If you are an avid SmallGovCon reader and a small business government contractor, you are probably no stranger to at least the basics of SBA’s size standards and its size and affiliation regulations (if not, check out some of our other blogs on the subject and keep an eye out for our upcoming new, second edition of the “SBA Small Business Size and Affiliation Rules” handbook). But either way, did you know, if you are pursuing or participating in one of SBA’s other small business socioeconomic programs (8(a) Program, HUBZone, WOSB, SDVOSB, etc.), there may be additional requirements you must meet regarding your company’s size in order to be eligible for such small business socioeconomic statuses?Continue reading
Category Archives: 8(a) Program
Posts dealing with the 8(a) business development program, including 8(a) admissions and eligiblity, requests for reconsideration, ongoing eligibility and compliance, and related matters.
8(a) Program and EDWOSB: Are they Economically Disadvantaged Twins or Siblings?
Two of the Small Business Administration’s programs require the applicant to demonstrate that they are economically disadvantaged: the 8(a) Business Development Program (8(a) Program) and the Economically Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Business Program (EDWOSB). The 8(a) Program requires applicants to be owned and controlled by both socially and economically disadvantaged individuals per 13 C.F.R. § 124.101. Applicants of the EDWOSB program must be owned and controlled by one or more economically disadvantaged women per 13 C.F.R. § 127.200(a)(2). But what exactly does it mean to be “economically disadvantaged,” and do both programs have the same requirements? Below I discuss the economically disadvantaged requirement contained in both programs. Read on to find out whether they are the same, and more.Continue reading
Pay it Forward, or Pay the Price, Says SBA in Proposed Rules for 8(a) Tribal Entities
In a recent notice for Tribal consultation and request for comments, as well as a published proposed rule, the SBA seems to be signaling an increase in oversight of Native or Tribally-owned entities who are 8(a) Participants. SBA has an apparent goal of enforcing more stringent repercussions for not fully adhering to some stipulations that exclusively pertain to Native or Tribally-Owned participants in the 8(a) Business Development Program. While not final yet, the SBA has placed these potential consequences, the reasoning behind them, and the proposed rule out in the public for discussion. As these actions may present some rather drastic changes for some 8(a) Participants, I have done a quick breakdown of them here.Continue reading
SBA Proposed Rule Relaxes Change of 8(a) Program Ownership, Allows Limited Populated Joint Ventures
The SBA has issued new proposed rules relating to the 8(a) Program. The rules clarify some aspects of ownership and control requirements for the 8(a) Program, including making change of ownership a little easier and cleaning up some 8(a) set-aside processes. The rule would also allow for populated joint ventures between similarly situated joint venture members.Continue reading
OHA Remands Size Determination Because Area Office Failed to Provide Due Process to Protested Concern
SBA’s Office of Hearing and Appeals (OHA) recently said that the SBA Area Office should have informed the protested concern of the issues its adverse size determination focused on before ruling against the concern’s size eligibility on that basis. In addition to its lesson on due process, OHA also took this opportunity to distinguish totality of the circumstances affiliation (the basis on which the Area Office found affiliation here) from ostensible subcontractor affiliation (the basis for affiliation alleged in the size protest). OHA vacated and remanded the Area Office’s decision.Continue reading
Small Business Committee Raises Concerns to SBA About Certification Speed, Category Management
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives Small Business Committee held a hearing to discuss how the SBA will meet Small Business Contracting goals, and specifically how the SBA can meet its goals related to socioeconomic programs. The committee challenged the Office of Government Contracting & Business Development to show how they will help grow participation in SBA’s small business development programs, and small business participation in federal contracting as a whole. The Small Business Committee raised questions related to inflation, increasing socio-economic program participation, and SBA technology updates.Continue reading
Top of the Class: 8(a) Early Graduation
The SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program is the crème de la crème of federal government contracting and there is a high bar to entry for admission. Among other things, individuals that are not a member of one of the recognized groups that is automatically presumed to be socially disadvantaged must prove they were socially disadvantaged throughout their life through what is called a social disadvantage narrative. Beyond that, there are a number of other qualifications, such as being economically disadvantaged, a business’s potential for success, and evidence of good character that must also be met. 13 C.F.R. § 124.101. The process is difficult, and once an individual is admitted, they no doubt want to make the most of it.
Oftentimes, small businesses that participate in the 8(a) SBA’s Business Development Program remain in the Program for the full 9 years that the SBA allows, which culminates in the small business “graduating” from the program. 13 C.F.R. § 124.302. Sometimes, the business grows so successfully that it no longer meets the qualifications of being small, and thus is required to graduate early from the 8(a) Program. So how exactly does that happen? Read on to find out.Continue reading