This week, the SBA published a press release affirming its continued support of its 8(a) Business Development Program in response to recent 8(a) Program attacks in the courts. In the press release, business industry leaders across the nation joined SBA Administrator, Isabella Casillas Guzman, in praising the 8(a) Program, its successful history, and its driving policy and spirit.Continue reading
We at SmallGovCon are trying to get back into the routine of school. Pick-ups, drop-offs, practices, and clubs–it’s a lot. And the government is also ramping up activity a bit as it prepares for fiscal year end and what usually is a big rush of contract awards. With that in mind, check out the latest news, including SBA’s social disadvantage requirements, cybersecurity, and potential changes from a defense procurement commission. Have a great weekend.Continue reading
Writing a social disadvantage narrative for application to SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program has always been an arduous undertaking–to say the least. And up until a recent Federal District Court decision (which we blogged on here), only a small portion of 8(a) Program applicants had to submit this time-consuming, highly personal, difficult task. But now (as discussed in the above-linked blog and in this blog on SBA’s recent actions in response to the decision), this requirement is being expanded to all individual applicants that haven’t already provided a social disadvantage narrative. You can read much more about SBA’s implementation of this here. But essentially, you will need to write a social disadvantage narrative if you are an individually-owned1 8(a) applicant or program participant who is trying to get into the 8(a) Program or already in the 8(a) Program–even if you were planning to or already had relied on the rebuttable presumption of social disadvantage (which SBA can no longer use).
Fortunately, we have been drafting these narratives for a long time now, meticulously studying and utilizing: (i) SBA’s rules, policies, and guidance on social disadvantage narratives (recent guidance can be found here); (ii) SBA’s feedback on individual narratives; and (iii) SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) decisions covering the SBA’s initial appealed decisions on applicants’ social disadvantage eligibility–as well as OHA’s final decisions on the appeals. So, while SBA’s current regulations and guidance can guide your pen, they are certainly 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.Continue reading
The SBA’s Office of Government Contracting and Business Development, the office that handles the 8(a) Business Development Program applications, has just confirmed that SBA has “temporarily paused” the submission of new 8(a) Program applications in light of the recent decision by the federal district court of the Eastern District of Tennessee.Continue reading
On July 19, 2023, the federal district court of the Eastern District of Tennessee issued a decision regarding a case involving the rebuttable presumption of social disadvantage in place under the 8(a) Business Development Program. Ultima Servs. Corp. v. U.S. Dep’t of Agric., 220CV00041DCLCCRW, 2023 WL 4633481, at *1 (E.D. Tenn. July 19, 2023). This decision found that this presumption is unconstitutional as it violates the right to equal protection. This, understandably, has caused a great deal of confusion and concern for current and potential 8(a) Program participants. In this post, we will not be providing our opinion on the correctness of the court’s decision (or analyze it from a policy perspective), as we will leave that to attorneys who specialize in constitutional law. Instead, we will go over the decision, what it means, and what it could affect down the road.Continue reading
Steven Koprince, Govology Legal Analyst and retired founder of Koprince McCall Pottroff (and all around cool dude) will be presenting this webinar providing a big-picture overview of small business certifications in the government marketplace. In this webinar, you will learn about various federal small business certification programs, including Small Business Self Certification, Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) & 8(a), Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB), Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone), Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB), and Economically Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB). Steve will also touch on state and local certification programs and provide information on additional training and resources you can use to develop a deeper understanding and get help with any federal, state, and small business certification program. If interested in this informative webinar, please register here.
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). Additionally, most of our readers and most small business government contractors seem to understand at least the basics of SBA’s contract-based size requirements (i.e. that a small business–regardless of socioeconomic designation(s)–must be small under the size standard assigned to any set-aside contract it wants to bid). But 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 actually be some additional size requirements you must meet in order to be generally eligible for such small business socioeconomic statuses?Continue reading