By Maria Valdez Haubrich

Last month the Small Business Association’s (SBA) revisions to the 8(a) Business Development program went into effect. The changes were made to help more small businesses qualify for the program and get access to a variety of business development services, such as the opportunity to receive federal contracts on a sole-source or limited competition basis. According to the SBA, the changes should also be beneficial to the existing 8(a) firms and cut down on fraud and program abuse.

Some of the changes include:

  • Owners of 8(a) firms who get called up for military duty will not lose any of their term in the program.
  • Rules for joint ventures have gotten stricter to avoid nondisadvantaged firms from benefitting from 8(a).
  • One of the qualifications of 8(a) eligibility has been business size according to class code. Now, the SBA can “graduate” a business from the program early if the business has grown bigger than the size classification allows.
  • More clarification has been added when determining economic disadvantage as it pertains to a business owner’s total assets, gross income, retirement accounts and more.

To find out what other changes might apply to your business, visit the SBA website.