The SBA is offering an extension of the 8(a) Business Development Program (the 8(a) Program) to certain participants due to COVID-19. To account for a provision in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 and the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, the SBA published an interim final rule, effective January 13, 2021.
The 8(a) Program helps small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged people or entities by limiting competition for certain contracts to program participants, offering networking opportunities, and providing training and technical assistance. Full 8(a) Program details are outlined in Title 13 Part 124 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
To be eligible for an extension, a participant must have been active between March 13, 2020, and September 9, 2020. Participants that were terminated, early graduated, or voluntarily withdrew during this period and participants admitted on or after September 10, 2020, are not eligible for the extension.
For 8(a) Program participants active on March 13, 2020, and through January 13, 2021, the one-year program extension is automatic unless the participant declines in a written notice submitted to the SBA.
If the participant elected to suspend participation after the nationwide coronavirus emergency disaster declaration on March 13, 2020, the extension will be added to the end of the participant’s program term, including the suspension period.
To decline an extension, your written notice must be submitted to: Associate Administrator, Office of Business Development, Small Business Administration, 409 Third Street SW, Washington, DC 20416, or via email to 8aQuestions@sba.gov.
If a participant was active on March 13, 2020, but graduated before January 13, 2021, the participant may elect to be readmitted. If readmitted, the extension adds one year to the original program term’s expiration date.
To request to be readmitted, written notice should be submitted as soon as possible and no later than March 15, 2021, to: Associate Administrator, Office of Business Development, Small Business Administration, 409 Third Street SW, Washington, DC 20416, or via email to 8aQuestions@sba.gov.
My team actively helps small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged people or entities through the 8(a) Program navigate the complexities of federal contracting, including overhead rate analysis, compliance matters, and financial statement reporting requirements.
by David Jean, CPA, CCIFP, CExP
David Jean is a firm principal and the Practice Leader for ARB’s Business Advisory, Construction & Real Estate, and Succession Planning Services Groups. David focuses primarily on financial accounting and consulting for construction, real estate, and manufacturing companies. He is a member of The Certified Public Accountant Advisory Council, an exclusive, 10-member council formed to serve as the resource team for the National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP).