You put your heart into submitting your 8(a) Business Development Program application, but you still got denied. All is not lost! Join me as I discuss how to request reconsideration or appeal 8(a) denials.
If you have questions or would like assistance drafting a request for reconsideration or appeal, you can reach me here.
When it comes to the 8(a) program, you might want to quit your day job.
The 8(a) Business Development Program, similar to other SBA socioeconomic programs such as the service-disabled veteran-owned small business program, requires the disadvantaged individual owner to work full-time at the business during normal business hours of similar firms. If an owner has a second job outside the main company, that can create problems, as it did in a recent OHA decision.
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.
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.
SBA’s regulations provide that an 8(a) program participant that no longer is owned or controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged person can be terminated from the 8(a) program. But the decision to terminate is not one to be made lightly: SBA must make sure that it not only has evidence in support of its termination decision, it must also explain how that evidence demonstrates its conclusions.
This requirement was at issue in a recent court decision that found an SBA 8(a) program termination decision to be based on “numerous erroneous assumptions” and “unsupported conclusions, not substantial evidence.”