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SBA Temporarily Halts Geographic Requirement for 8(a) Business Development Program

  • U.S. Small Business Administration announces temporary moratorium on geographic requirement for its 8(a) Business Development Program
  • Moratorium in effect for contracts issued from Aug. 25 of this year until Sept. 30, 2022
  • Change is in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

The U.S. Small Business Administration is temporarily suspending a requirement in a program crafted to support socially or economically disadvantaged businesses, no longer mandating that participants have a bona fide place of business in a specific geographic area in order to receive a construction contract.

The moratorium applies to the 8(a) Business Development Program and will be effective for contracts awarded between Aug. 25 of this year and Sept. 30, 2022. The SBA said the change is in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and also intends to make it easier for small disadvantaged businesses to be eligible.

  • The 8(a) Business Development Program limits competition for certain contracts to businesses that participate in the program, allowing socially or economically disadvantaged small businesses to have a better chance at winning a federal contract
  • An SBA official described it as “our flagship contracting program born out of the Civil Rights movement”
  • A bona fide place of business is defined as a place where the the participant maintains a regular office with at least one full-time employee within the appropriate geographic boundary; trailers or other temporary construction structures do not qualify

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