A small disadvantaged business is a business that is at a minimum 51% owned by one or more individuals who is considered both socially and economically disadvantaged.
Small Business Administration (SBA): under federal law, socially disadvantaged individuals are those who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias within American society because of their identification as members of groups without regard to their individual qualities.
If you fall into this category your company may be eligible for a unique program designed to help you succeed when bidding on government contracts.
The 8(a) Business Development Program was created to assist small disadvantaged businesses be competitive in the government contracting world. The nine-year program is broken into two sections consisting of a four-year development stage and a five-year transition stage with the end goal of helping SDB’s that qualify for the program graduate into thriving competitive businesses.
In order to qualify as an 8(a) certified business there are criteria you will have to meet. It is important to make sure you match these criteria and be certified by the SBA before applying.
Under this program, qualified 8(a) firms can receive sole-source contracts up to a ceiling of $4 million for goods and services and $6.5 million for manufacturing. 8(a) firms are also able to create joint ventures with other 8(a) firms to bid on contracts. This allows you to partner up and bid on larger contracts that you may not have the qualifications to bid on as a single entity.
Additional benefits you receive as a member of the 8(a) Business Development Program include but are not limited to training, counseling, marketing assistance, and SBA-guaranteed loans.
This program is one of many that are designed to give small disadvantaged businesses the help they need in succeeding in the competitive government contracting world.