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Want to grow your small business with government contracts but not sure where to get started? The governments 8(a) Development program can help.

The 8a business development program is a 9 year program which provides small business owners that are socially and economically disadvantage with resources to compete in the federal contract procurement process.

Who is eligible?

Businesses need to at least 51% owned by a socially and economically disadvantaged individual who is a US Citizen. The business owner must show potential for success and be of good character. The specific eligibility requirements are below:

  • Qualify as a small business
  • No past participation in the 8(a) program
  • At least 51 percent owned and controlled by U.S. citizens who are economically and socially disadvantaged
  • Owned by an individual with a  personal net worth less than $250,000
  • Owned by an individual with an average adjusted gross income for three years less than $250,000
  • Owned by an individual with less than $4 million in assets
  • Manage day-to-day operations by the owner
  • Demonstrate good character
  • Have potential for success on government contracts

Who is classified as Socially and Economically disadvantaged?

A socially disadvantaged person is a member of a group that has been subjected to racial or ethnic bias based on their identity. An economically disadvantaged person is a member of a socially disadvantaged group who has experienced a diminished capacity to compete in a free market system due to lower capitol and credit opportunities. This classification extends only to citizens of the United States or individuals lawfully given permanent U.S. residency.

What benefits are part of the Program?

The program offers specialized business training, counseling, marketing and executive development.  Your company may be able to receive surplus government property and supplies to offset startup costs. SBA guaranteed loans and bonding assistance are also available as a member of the program. The government offers sole source contracting opportunities to 8a certified businesses. Businesses are also encouraged to form partnerships to joint bid on larger government contracts giving companies in the program access to large prime government contract opportunities. An 8(a) mentor – protégé program is in place to provide the chance to learn from a more experienced business with a strong track record in government contracting.

How does the program work?

The 8(a) business development program consists of two phases which occur over a nine year period: a four-year development stage and a five-year transition stage. The purpose of the program is assist in the developmental stages of a business in order to allow the business to be able to compete in a competitive business environment. During the program, you will be expected to maintain a balance between your commercial and government business. The program has a $100 million limit on the value of sole-source contracts that you are able to receive during the program. Your company will need to complete an annual review to monitor and manage your progress including business planning and systematic evaluations.

Want To Learn More About the 8(a) Development Program?

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Select GCR is a consulting firm committed to helping small and medium-sized businesses achieve growth through government contracting. We identify the best path to success for each individual business and assist in the completion of all necessary registrations and certifications. Our strategic involvement simplifies the overall process and allows business owners to focus efforts on their principal business activities.

We proudly maintain a first time 97% approval rate with applications and registrations submitted on behalf of our clients. For more information or assistance, please contact us here!