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8(a) Business Development

UPDATES REGARDING CCR/SAM

The General Services Administration (GSA) is moving the implementation date of the System for Award Management (SAM) from May 29, 2012 to the end of July 2012. The additional sixty days will allow federal agencies to continue preparing their staff, give agencies and commercial system providers even more time to test their data transfer connections, and will ensure SAM contains the critical, documented capabilities users need from the system.

This first phase of SAM will include the capabilities of Central Contractor Registration (CCR)/Federal Agency Registration (FedReg), Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA), and the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS). In preparation for the launch, GSA conducted extensive testing internally and in coordination with federal agencies using the data from these systems in their own contracting, grants, finance, and other departments. The testing was very valuable and will focus the efforts of the next sixty days.

SAM will reduce the burden on those seeking to do business with the government. Vendors will be able to log into one system to manage their entity information in one record, with one expiration date, through one streamlined business process. Federal agencies will be able to look in one place for entity pre-award information. Everyone will have fewer passwords to remember and see the benefits of data reuse as information is entered into SAM once and reused throughout the system.

Please see http://sam.gov for more information about the system.

New 8(a) Business Development Regulations have been issued.

The 8(a) Business Development Program is an important resource for small businesses seeking business-development assistance.

Named for Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act, this program was created to help small and disadvantaged businesses compete in the marketplace. It also helps these companies gain access to federal and private procurement markets.

What is the Purpose of the 8(a) Business Development Program?

The focus of the program is to provide business development support including:

  • Mentoring

  • Procurement assistance

  • Business counseling

  • Training

  • Financial assistance

  • Surety bonding

  • Other management and technical assistance

For more information on the program and its requirements, visit 13 CFR 124 (8(a) Business Development/Small Disadvantaged Business Status Determinations) as well as the 8(a) Business Development page to learn about benefits, eligibility standards, and goals of the 8(a) Business Development Program.

Application Process

We recommend that you submit your application or the 8(a) Business Development Program electronically, but if you use paper, see the following guidelines.

Paper-Based Applications

You may also submit a paper application for 8(a) Program certification. A paper application may be obtained by means of a written request to your local Small Business Administration District Office. This method requires considerably more time to process.

Please complete the paper application in its entirety and return it to the address shown below:

Mail to the following address, if your firm is located in one of the states below:

US Small Business Administration
DPCE Central Office Duty Station
Parkview Towers
1150 First Avenue
10th Floor, Suite 1001
King of Prussia, PA 19406

Mail to the following address, if your firm is located in one of the states  below:

Small Business Administration
Division of Program Certification and Eligibility
455 Market Street, 6th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105

MA, ME, NH, CT, VT, RI, NY, PR (Puerto Rico), VI (US Virgin Islands), NJ, PA, MD, VA, WV, DC, DE, GA, AL,NC, SC, MS, FL, KY, TN

IL, OH, MI, IN, MN, WI, TX, NM, AR, LA, OK, MO, IA, NE, KS, CO, WY, ND, MT, UT, SD, CA, HI, GU (Guam), NV,  AZ, WA, AK, ID, OR


Upon receipt of your completed paper application, the data it contains will be retyped in the electronic system, printed, and sent back to you for verification. If any errors are found, you must return the application to the SBA with the corrections clearly noted. The new information will be entered into the online application, and another paper copy will be sent to you for verification. This process will be repeated until the application contains no errors. At that time, please sign the application and return it to the SBA for processing in the regular ninety-day window.

To avoid these delays we recommend that you submit your application electronically.

Grant Information

Under Section 7(j) of the Small Business Act, the SBA is authorized to provide management and technical assistance, through grants and cooperative agreements, to qualified service providers. This management and technical assistance includes specialized training, professional consulting and executive development.

These qualified service providers then deliver the training and technical assistance to eligible firms and individuals participating in the SBA's Business Development Program, as well as to other small disadvantaged businesses, low-income individuals, and firms in either labor surplus areas or areas with a high proportion of low-income individuals.

The agency is not authorized to award grants to assist individuals to start, operate, expand, rebuild, or purchase a business.

7(j) Management and Technical Assistance Program Information

The Program provides management and technical assistance to eligible individuals and small business clients under the 7(j) Management and Technical Assistance Program.

Integrity of the 8(a) Business Development Program

The SBA is committed to ensuring that only eligible participants are reaping the benefits of the 8(a) Business Development (BD) Program.  In an effort to eliminate abuse associated with potentially ineligible firms participating in the 8(a) Program, the Office of Business Development is implementing a process to handle complaint data. This process involves documenting, analyzing and taking appropriate action(s). The mailbox below has been established to receive complaints of potential abuse related to the eligibility of potential applicants and current 8(a) firms for 8(a) Business Development Program participation.

Email us at 8abdhotline@sba.gov

Office of Inspector General (OIG) Hotline for Reporting Fraud, Waste and Abuse

To report suspected fraud, waste, abuse, or misconduct involving the SBA’s programs, including the 8(a) Business Development Program, please fill out the SBA OIG Complaint Submission Form.

Our Administrators

Leading the way for the 8(a) Business Development Program is our dedicated staff, including:

Darryl K. Hairston
Associate Administrator, Business Development

Sharon A. Gurley
Director, Office of Program Review
BD's Controlled Correspondence, IG/GAO Audits & Management Challenges

Robert Watkins
Director, Division of Program Certification and Eligibility
8(a) Business Development

Carol Thompson
Director, Office of Management and Technical Assistance

Are 8(a) firms reviewed by SBA annually for compliance with eligibility requirements?Are brokers eligible for the 8(a) BD Program?Does SBA have a minimum length of time in business requirement for 8(a) program certification? How do I apply to the 8(a) BD program?How does SBA view control of an applicant or 8(a) concern?How long can a company participate in the 8(a) program?How long does the 8(a) BD application process take?Is ownership by a trust allowed for 8(a) certification?What are the benefits of the 8(a) Business Development Mentor-Protege Program?What does it mean to "graduate" from the 8(a) BD Program?