As of September 29, 2023, the SBA has reopened 8(a) applications. New applicants may still prepare and upload a social disadvantage narrative to the Certify.sba.gov system.
The SBA is now requiring all 8(a) participants who originally relied upon the presumption of social disadvantage in their application to re-establish their 8(a) Program eligibility by completing a social disadvantage narrative. Participants must complete this narrative as soon as possible. Firms cannot receive new 8(a) contracts until the SBA approves your firm’s narrative and continued 8(a) eligibility.
In July 2023, a U.S. District Court Judge ruled in Ultima Servs. Corp. V. Dep’t of Ag. that the U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) may no longer allow applicants to qualify for the 8(a) Business Development Program based on the “presumption of social disadvantage.”
The “presumption of social disadvantage” was the process by which Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, and Subcontinent Asian Americans applying for the 8(a) Program could establish that they were socially disadvantaged by identifying as one of those designated groups. This presumption did not require any narrative or explanation of such social disadvantage to the respective applicant. In response to this ruling, the SBA issued new requirements for current 8(a) Program participants.
For more information or assistance with an 8(a) application or other government contracts matters, contact Lauren Travis, Senior Government Contracts Counsel, at firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; or use this Contact Us Form.