COVID-19 & SBA 8(a) Program Suspensions: FAQs

If you are a government contractor participating in the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program, there is a good chance you received an email this week about COVID-19 and the SBA’s 8(a) suspension authority. What is this authority and, more importantly, how would suspension impact your 8(a) status? In this post, we aim to provide some answers to frequently asked questions about these suspensions.

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DOD: Sole-Source Contracts up to $100 Million Don’t Need Justification

Effective March 17, DOD contracting officers won’t have to issue a justification or obtain approval for award of a sole-source contract under the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) program for awards up to $100 million, up from the prior $22 million limit. This Department of Defense class deviation implements the higher dollar amount that Congress set in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. This change will likely matter most for 8(a) concerns owned by an Indian Tribe, Alaska Native Corporation (ANC) or Native Hawaiian Organization (NHO), as other 8(a) firms are limited to a smaller dollar amount for sole source awards unless only one 8(a) firm can perform the work.

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8(a) Social Disadvantage Narratives: What SBA is Looking For

Writing a social disadvantage narrative for application to SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program can be tricky. While SBA’s regulations can guide your pen, they are not the only source of helpful information out there. Let’s take a look at some SBA guidance and recommendations based on SBA’s actual decisions that may increase your chances for success.

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SBA Area Office Double Counted Revenue in Denial of 8(a) Application, Says OHA

SBA sometimes makes mistakes in the 8(a) application process, but the appeals process may be able to remedy those miscues. Recently, an applicant appealed the SBA’s denial of her 8(a) status based on net worth. She argued that the SBA Area Office had double counted the value of her rental property, which automatically disqualified her from being found economically disadvantaged. SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) agreed and remanded the denial decision.

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In the Market for Freeze-Dried Ice Cream? SBA’s Proposed Rule on Surplus Property May Be For You!

This month, the SBA proposed a new rule to expand access to Federal surplus personal property for veteran-owned small businesses, 8(a) Program Participants, and more.

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The Basics: Socioeconomic Sole Source Awards

Just last week during a Govology webinar on Women-Owned Small Businesses, one of the attendees asked my colleague Haley Claxton and I an insightful question about the different standards for giving sole source awards to participants in various government programs. She wanted to know the difference between how contracting officers go about offering an 8(a) sole source award and a WOSB sole source award.

I had to admit, the practical, ground-level, nitty gritty business of how these awards are doled out doesn’t actually come across my desk that much.

So, let’s take a look, shall we?

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SBA Proposes to Eliminate Some 8(a) Joint Venture Agreement Approval Requirements

Recently, the SBA proposed big changes for its small business regulations, including some aspects of the 8(a) Program. This blog post is Part 4 in our coverage of these proposed SBA changes and will cover the SBA’s potential changes to the joint venture agreement approval process for 8(a) contracts (here are part 1, part 2, and part 3 of our coverage).

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