In the Headlines
August 23, 2023

SBA Small Biz Program Changes Likely to Limit Participation


Robert Tompkins, co-chair of the firm's National Government Contracts Practice, was quoted in a Law360 article about how changes made to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 8(a) program could result in less businesses qualifying for the program. A Tennessee district court ruling determined that the "rebuttable presumption" of social disadvantage used to qualify small businesses into the program was unconstitutional. This has led to many companies scrambling to meet new requirements established by the administration. Mr. Tompkins explained what these new requirements are requesting.

"The SBA regulations that speak to how one might present a narrative demonstrating individual social disadvantage are fairly specific — they make clear that the applicant or the participant must demonstrate that social disadvantage by a 'preponderance of the evidence,'" Mr. Tompkins said.

Because of more stringent regulations, some companies may find it difficult to comply or qualify into the 8(a) program. Mr. Tompkins expressed how these additional guidelines and requirements will potentially impact admission.

"The prospect that one might not be admitted to the program certainly would seem to have a negative effect on parties' willingness to go through the process … anything that injects a measure of doubt will likely further deter participation by those who are uncertain whether they will gain admission," he added.

READ: SBA Small Biz Program Changes Likely To Limit Participation (Subscription required)

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