SBA program helps minority-owned business compete for federal government contracts

If you are an 8(a) disadvantaged small business, then you want to take advantage of the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development program to help your business compete for federal government contracts.

Many federal agencies such as the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security and NASA have  mentor-protégé programs to assist small businesses. This one focuses on disadvantaged firms and is named after section 8(a) of the Small Business Act, which helps socially and economically disadvantaged Americans gain access to economic opportunities and achieve economic success.  The program enhances the capability of 8(a) participants to compete more successfully for federal government contracts by encouraging private sector relationships while expanding the SBA’s efforts to identify and respond to the developmental needs of 8(a) firms.

Small Businesses can join the program as either the mentor or the protégé. The SBA determines the eligibility of participants and will annually review existing mentor-protégé relationships. Requested documents for review could include IRS Form 4506, Request for Copy or Transcript of Tax Form. Also requested are records of all payments, compensation, and distributions (including loans, advances, salaries, and dividends) made by the participant to each of its owners, officers, directors, or to any person or entity affiliated with any of these individuals.

Once approved, SBA mentors provide assistance to eligible 8(a) participants in the areas of procurement support, training, financial aid as well as management and technical assistance. The SBA also serves as mediator of disputes between mentor and protégé, if necessary.

To learn about the benefits and additional information about the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development program, visit SBA 8a Development.