What is the 8a Business Development Program?
The 8a business development program is a robust nine-year program created to help firms owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Businesses that participate in the program receive training and technical assistance designed to strengthen their ability to compete effectively in the American economy. Also eligible to participate in the 8(a) program are small businesses owned by Alaska Native corporations, Community Development Corporations, Indian tribes, and Native Hawaiian organizations. Small business development is accomplished by providing various forms of management, technical, financial, and procurement assistance.
SBA partners with federal agencies to promote maximum utilization of 8(a) program participants to ensure equitable access to contracting opportunities in the federal marketplace. Once certified, 8(a) program participants are eligible to receive federal contracting preferences and receive training and technical assistance designed to strengthen their ability to compete effectively in the American economy.
he focus of the program is to provide business development support including:
- Procurement assistance
- Business counseling
- Financial assistance
- Surety bonding
- Other management and technical assistance
8(a) program participants are responsible for maintaining continuing eligibility in the program. Each program participant shall certify, on an annual basis, that it meets statutory and regulatory requirements. As part of an annual review, each participant must annually submit specific information to their servicing SBA District Office.
Generally, successful applicants must also meet the following additional requirements
- The business must be small according to the Size standards for small business concerns;
- The business must demonstrate a potential for success (generally by being in business for, at least, two years);
- The business must be unconditionally owned and controlled by
- by one or more disadvantaged individuals who
- are US citizens and who
- are of good character.;