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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Sole-Source Options for Agencies During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The current COVID-19 pandemic has prompted the federal government to take drastic measures. It has altered many aspects of federal contracting for contractors and agencies alike. During these trying times, agencies also have the authority to streamline some contracting procedures. Let’s take a look.

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The Coronavirus Stimulus Package Could do More for Small Business Contractors

Congress is expected to pass a huge coronavirus stimulus package in the coming days. While lobbyists and congressional staffers wrestle over the last bits and pieces to find their way in to the bill, there seems to be a pretty important group left out—small business federal contractors.

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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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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 Changes to 8(a) Contract Procurement Process

Last week, SBA proposed big changes for some of its small business regulations, particularly those in the 8(a) Program. This blog post is Part 2 in our coverage of the proposed amendments (see Part 1 here) and will cover SBA’s potential changes to the procurement process for 8(a) contracts.

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House Passes Bill to Increase Potential Size of Sole Source Awards

Amidst the news cycle focusing on the government shutdown, there is some other action in the House of Representatives that recently caught our eye.

The House recently passed a bill called the “Expanding Contracting Opportunities for Small Businesses Act of 2019.” If the bill becomes law, we will see a dramatic expansion in the size of sole source contracts for SDVOSBs, WOSBs, and HUBZones.

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