From Eight Days to 105 Days: The Incredible Lengthening of the SBA’s Mentor-Protégé Program Application Timeline

In February 2017, the SBA announced that applications for its new All Small Mentor-Protégé Program were being processed, on average, in just eight days. Fast forward four-and-a-half years, and the SBA’s mentor-protégé application processing timeline has gotten just a wee bit longer.

As in, 105 days.

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5 Things You Should Know: SBA’s Recent 8(a) Program Updates

SBA has been hard at work this past year updating its 8(a) Business Development Program rules and policies. And we have been doing our best here at SmallGovCon to keep you posted. Many of our blog posts focused on SBA’s monumental November 2020 “rule overhaul,” which implemented several 8(a) rule changes. But given the sheer magnitude of information in that final rule, it is pretty easy to lose track of which updates might affect you, as a potential 8(a) applicant or current 8(a) participant. There were also some pretty important changes to the 8(a) Program just prior to and subsequent to SBA’s November 2020 final rule.

Suffice it to say, there is a lot to process! So, we thought a quick summary blog on some of the most significant changes to the 8(a) Program of late might help you in that endeavor. Without further ado, here are five things you should know about SBA’s recent 8(a) Program updates.

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GAO: Solicitation Cannot Require a Protégé Have the Same Experience as its Mentor

SBA regulations prohibit agencies from requiring the same past performance record from both mentor and protégé entities.  The regulations explicitly prohibit this type of requirement.

In a recent GAO decision, it sustained the protest where an agency required all members in a joint venture to submit the same past experience examples in their proposal.

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Koprince Law LLC’s New 8(a) Program GovCon Handbook is Live!

Well folks, the wait is finally over! The Second Edition of our popular GovCon Handbook on the SBA’s 8(a) Program is live, and it’s available here. In this revised, updated, and expanded Handbook, Steven Koprince and I give you the run-down on all things 8(a) (and as always, we do so in plain English).

Whether you are considering applying to the 8(a) Program, in the midst of the application process, already years into your 8(a) Program term, or a recent graduate/non-8(a) entity hoping to team with an 8(a) company one of these days–this book is for you. It covers everything under the 8(a) sun, including:

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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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Years after Expiration of Mentor-Protégé Agreement, Joint Venture Still Small Based on Proposal Date

SBA regulations say that size is determined as of the date an offeror submits its initial proposal, with price. On its face, this rule seems pretty straight forward. But what happens if the initial proposal was filed six years ago? And what if the joint venture that submitted the proposal has since expired?

Following OHA’s recent logic, the proposal-date rule stands even in these unique circumstances.

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SBA Mentor-Protégé Joint Ventures: Even GAO Appears a Tad Confused

The SBA’s All Small Mentor-Protégé program offers a tremendous opportunity for participants to pursue set-aside contracts as joint venture partners.  But misunderstandings and misconceptions about how SBA mentor-protégé joint ventures work are pervasive.

One very common misconception is that the SBA must pre-approve a mentor-protégé joint venture.  In most cases, that’s not so.  In a recent bid protest decision, even the GAO appeared a little confused, repeatedly mentioning SBA approval of a joint venture even though no such approval was required for the contract in question.

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