2020 Rewind: The Year’s Biggest Government Contracting News Affecting Small Businesses

Let’s face it: most people won’t look back on 2020 with anything remotely approaching nostalgia.  Here at Koprince Law LLC, we are eager to turn the page and move on with 2021, too. 

But small businesses shouldn’t forget 2020 completely.  The year brought many important developments, including major changes to some key government contracting rules that our readers should remember.  So here, in a nutshell, are the most important 2020 government contracting changes and legal developments for small businesses. 

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8(a) Term Extension Questions and Details

Since the COVID-19 Relief Bill passed was enacted on December 27 (including the 8(a) term extension that we discussed earlier), the 15-day window for SBA’s rules on the extension falls on January 11. Here are some thoughts on how we think SBA may fill in the gaps for this important 8(a) term extension, based on our interpretation of the statute and feedback from SBA.

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8(a) Participants to Receive One-Year Extension Through COVID-19 Bill

Update: The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 was passed on December 27, 2020. The NDAA was passed on January 1, 2021.

Congress has included in the new COVID-19 relief bill a one-year extension of the term for participation in the 8(a) Program. Under the provision, any small business concern participating in the 8(a) program on or before September 9, 2020 may “elect to extend such participation by a period of 1 year”.  This is good news, especially for those concerns in their last year of viability in the 8(a) program who may have felt shortchanged from COVID’s effects on the economy.

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Congress to Extend 8(a) Terms by One Year

There is a substantial change for 8(a) Program Participants in the NDAA that was recently approved by Congress. The House and Senate have agreed to extend the term of 8(a) Participants from 9 years to 10 years for any company that was admitted to 8(a) Program by September 9 of this year. This will be a major benefit to 8(a) companies, assuming the President signs the NDAA.

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Mentor-Protégé Consolidation Goes Live: What Does this Mean for You?

The 8(a) Business Development Mentor-Protégé Program has officially been consolidated into the All-Small Mentor-Protégé Program. The goal: to eliminate duplications in regulations and to alleviate confusion between the two programs.

This change has been years in the making. Since the All-Small Mentor-Protégé Program was introduced in 2016, confusion between the two programs has persisted. SBA began looking at how to streamline the programs. We first wrote about the proposed rule changes back in November 2019.

SBA has now implemented its overhaul and consolidation through a final rule; follow along as we take you through what you need to know about the new rules.

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SBA Cuts 8(a) Reapplication Period to 90 Days

The SBA has cut the waiting period for reapplying to the 8(a) Program from 12 months to only 90 days.

In a final rule effective November 16, the SBA explains that the shorter period should reduce the need for sometimes-costly appeals of denied 8(a) Program applications.

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