Small Business Programs and Certifications

Executive Order on Further Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through The Federal Government

Executive Order on Further Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through The Federal Government was issued by the president this week builds on one he signed his first day in office as well as other executive and legislative actions. To read the full executive order, click here. [February 2023]

Small Business Size Standards: Manufacturing and Industries With Employee-Based Size Standards in Other Sectors Except Wholesale Trade and Retail Trade

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA or the Agency) is increasing its employee-based small business size definitions (commonly referred to as “size standards”) for North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) sectors related to Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction (Sector 21); Utilities (Sector 22); Manufacturing (Sector 31-33); Transportation and Warehousing (Sector 48-49); Information (Section 51); Finance and Insurance (Sector 52); Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (Sector 54); and Administrative and Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services (Sector 56). Specifically, in terms of industries defined under the NAICS 2022 revision, SBA is increasing 144 and retaining 268 employee-based size standards in those sectors. SBA is also retaining the current 500-employee size standard for Federal procurement of supplies under the nonmanufacturer rule.  This rule is effective March 17, 2023. Click here to read more. [February 2023]

Biden-Harris Administration to Begin Accepting Applications on January 9 for SBA Veteran Small Business Certification Process

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) began accepting applications through the Veteran Small Business Certification (VetCert) program as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to expanding access to resources for Veterans and other underserved populations. The improvements in the customer experience for Veteran entrepreneurs and business owners made by VetCert will build upon the $25 billion in government contract spending with service-disabled Veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs) in Fiscal Year 2021. The transfer of Veteran certification responsibility from the Veterans Administration (VA) to the SBA aligns with the Biden Administration’s focus on stronger interagency collaboration. The two agencies working closely together to accomplish a complex task benefits not only the Veteran community but the nation as a whole. Click here to read more. [January 2023]

Federal Office of Business Development “Straight Talk!” Series: The Office of Business Development is hosting its open hour “Straight Talk!” on the 8(a) Business Development (8(a) BD) Program. Whether you’re thinking about applying to the 8(a) BD Program or having been certified into the program or just have general questions about the 8(a) BD program, join using the information below. Please note that the public can access the event by audio only. [January 2022]

Date: 3rd Wednesday of each month

Time: 2pm to 2:30pm EDT

Call: TEAMS conference call

+1 202-765-1264,,217121169# United States, Washington DC

Phone Conference ID: 217 121 169#

A Federal Court Decides When a Contractor Size Rule Actually Takes Effect

A few years back, Congress changed how the Small Business Administration would calculate whether a business qualified as small. It had been the average of three years of revenue. The new rule was five years. The question arose: When did the new calculus kick in? This had real consequences for a company called Obsidian. To get the details, the Federal Drive with Tom Temin talked with Smith Pachter McWhorter procurement attorney Zach Prince. To read the full transcript, click here.[December 2022]

DOD’s Mentor Protégé Program Drops “Pilot” From Title as the NDAA Codifies the Initiative

On December 15, the U.S. Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the Fiscal Year 2023 by an 83-11 vote. The annual legislation changes U.S. defense agencies’ policies and regulations and provides necessary guidance for how appropriations can be spent. It is frequently used to implement changes to federal procurement policy, and one of those changes this year is that Section 856 codifies the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Mentor-Protégé Program (MPP) – with some tweaks. Section 856 significantly changes the eligibility requirements for mentors by lowering the value of awarded contracts necessary to demonstrate the mentor can impart value to a protégé firm. Click here to read more. [December 2022]

National Defense Authorization Act of 2020, Credit for Lower Tier Subcontracting and Other Amendments

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA or Agency) is proposing to amend its regulations to implement provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020. The proposal would permit a prime contractor with an individual subcontracting plan to apply credit for subcontracts to small businesses at lower tiers toward its subcontracting goals. To do so, the prime contractor would incorporate the lower-tier subcontracting performance into its subcontracting-plan goals. To read more, click here. [December 2022]

U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General review of SBA’s Business Development Assistance to 8(a) Program Participants provides an in depth review of the assistance proved by the SBA to 8(a) program participants.  [February 2022]

FACT SHEET from the WHITE HOUSE: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces Reforms to Increase Equity and Level the Playing Field for Underserved Small Business Owners. This announcement outlines how the federal government will be increasing the share of contracts going to small disadvantaged businesses by increasing agencies goals to 11%, up from the currently goal of 5%.  [December 2021]

Congressional Research Service report SBA’s “8(a) Program”:  Overview, History, and Current Issues dated November 10, 2021 provides an in depth overview of the SBA 8(a) program.  [November 2021]

Congressional Research Service report SBA Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program dated November 10, 2021 provides an in depth overview of the SBA WOSB program.  [November 2021]