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SBA Issues Interim Final Rule on Extension of Participation in 8(a) Business Development Program

by | Feb 22, 2021 | Government Contracts

On January 13, 2021, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) published an interim final rule that implementing provisions of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Appropriations Act), and the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (NDAA 2021), which authorized certain 8(a) Business Development (BD) program Participants to extend their program term for one year. These provisions were passed in recognition of the challenges presented by COVID-19.

To qualify for the one-year extension of the 8(a) program term, an 8(a) Participant must have participated in the 8(a) Program between March 13, 2020 and September 9, 2020. Companies that were terminated, early graduated, or voluntarily withdrew from the 8(a) program during that time period are not eligible for the extension. Companies that were admitted to the program on or after September 10, 2020 are also not eligible for the extension.

The one-year extension is automatic for all firms who were still participating in the 8(a) program on January 13, 2020, unless the firm declined the extension in writing.

Eligible firms that were participating in the program as of March 13, 2020, but graduated before the passage of the interim final rule on January 13, 2021, are eligible for program readmittance. If a graduated firm is readmitted to the 8(a) program, its new term end date will be one year from its original program exit date. To be readmitted, the graduated firm must certify that it continues to meet all applicable program eligibility requirements.

Graduated firms who wish to be readmitted to the 8(a) program must notify SBA no later than March 15, 2021, by submitting a readmittance notification to Associate Administrator, Office of Business Development, Small Business Administration, 409 Third Street SW, Washington, DC 20416 or email to [email protected].

Stephanie Wilson is a Partner and Co-Director of Government Contracts at Berenzweig Leonard, LLP. Stephanie can be reached at [email protected]