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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Too Late for Take-Backs: Ostensible Subcontractor Analysis Won’t Consider Post-Proposal Changes

In Warrior Service Company, LLC, SBA No. SIZ-6046 (Jan. 24, 2020), the SBA reminded small business contractors that it determines whether a contractor has violated the ostensible subcontractor rule as of the date of bid submission; SBA won’t consider any changes that come later.

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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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OHA: Sold Corporate Division Isn’t a Former Affiliate

Affiliation is a dirty word to small business federal government contractors. For good reason: it can turn a small business into a large one and destroy its eligibility for socioeconomic programs and set-aside contracts. Proactive small business contractors, therefore, routinely audit their affiliation risks and, if necessary, take actions to fracture that affiliation.

One of the ways a company might try to fracture affiliation is to sell a division or business line to a third party. Because this division is sold, the company might be tempted to assume that its corresponding revenues are not considered as part of the affiliation analysis (under the former affiliate rule).

A recent OHA decision, however, instructs that a division or line of business does not qualify under the former affiliate rule.

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OHA Reiterates that Filing Deadlines Cannot be Extended

As I’m sure most other attorneys can commiserate with, I often have a recurring nightmare that I miss a filing deadline. Doing so can lead to terrible results: dismissed cases and, in some cases, sanctions against the attorney. For this reason, we always check, double-check, and triple-check our filing deadlines, and strive to file documents early, when possible.

Given my fear, I gain no pleasure in reading about missed filing deadlines, especially when the goof is the subject of a matter outside the attorney’s control.

But as a recent decision by the SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals demonstrates, even the most sympathetic of excuses won’t excuse a late appeal filing.

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OHA Denies Protest: Veteran Didn’t Need to List Disability on Social Media

The SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals denied an SDVOSB-status protest recently where the protester’s main argument amounted to an allegation that the owner of a competitor failed to identify on social media that he had a service-related disability.

OHA called the allegation “completely without merit.”

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OHA Lacks Jurisdiction for NAICS Appeal of GPO Procurement on VA’s Behalf

OHA recently confirmed that it lacked jurisdiction to decide a NAICS code appeal regarding a GPO procurement, even though that procurement was conducted on behalf on the VA. OHA’s dismissal was based on the fact that GPO, a legislative branch agency, is not subject to the same rules as the executive agencies.

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