Federal Judge Challenges SBA's Standard for Giving Firms Disadvantaged Status
Robert Tompkins, co-chair of the firm's National Government Contracts Practice, was quoted in a Federal News Network article about the Small Business Administration putting a temporary pause on adding new applicants to its disadvantaged business program. Mr. Tompkins said that following a federal court's ruling, participants and applicants will have to demonstrate how they have suffered harm that would give rise to a social disadvantage.
“Any individual that is within one of those designated groups, all they had to do is say, ‘We’re part of this group‘. What the court seems to be saying is that’s too broad — just because someone is a member of one of the designated groups does not necessarily mean that they are in fact socially disadvantaged,” Mr. Tompkins explained.
Every nine years small businesses currently certified in the 8(a) program need to recertify. Mr. Tompkins believes that all firms currently in the program should gather evidence of their disadvantaged status.
“I think both aspiring 8(a) applicants, as well as current 8(a) participants would be prudent to develop an individualized statement of social disadvantage, and be prepared to present that, if their status is questioned as a company,” he added.