SBA Plans to Increase Number of 8(a) Participants

May 31, 2016

8(a) Program Participation Down 34% Since 2010

Source: SmallGovCon, Steven Koprince, April 11, 2016

Participation in the SBA’s 8(a) Program has declined from about 7,000 firms in 2010 to only around 4,500 today–a sharp drop of approximately 34% in only six years.

These startling numbers come from a recent SBA Office of Inspector General report, which focuses on whether the SBA properly documented the reasons for admitting certain 8(a) participants.  While that matter is interesting in its own right, the most revealing part of the SBA OIG report is the rapid decline in 8(a) Program participation, and the SBA’s plans to reverse it.

The SBA OIG report states that “[s]ince 2010, there has been a steady decline in the number of firms participating in the 8(a) Program from about 7,000 in 2010 to about 4,600 in 2015.”  As of January 2016, the numbers had dropped even more, to “approximately 4,495 participants.”

One potential reason for the low numbers: the administrative burdens of getting certified.  The SBA’s letter responding to the SBA OIG Report states:

Though over 2,000 applicants apply each year, the SBA historically rejects most applications as incomplete and missing documentation.  Typically, only 25% of the applicants or approximately 500-600 applicants per year are ultimately certified to participate in the 8(a) BD Program by the Associate Administrator of the Office of 8(a) Business Development.  READ MORE….

Does your business meet 8(a) requirements?  Contact your nearest PTAC for more information about the 8(a) program.


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