SBA 8(a) – The 8(a) 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.
The 8(a) certification qualifies businesses to compete for the program’s sole-source and competitive set-aside contracts. The government authorizes sole-source contracts to 8(a) participants for up to $7.5 million for acquisitions assigned manufacturing North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes and $4.5 million for all other acquisitions. Entity-owned 8(a) program participants are eligible for sole-source contracts above these thresholds, but the Department of Defense requires approval of a formal justification if the 8(a) sole-source contract exceeds $100 million; all other federal agencies require approval for sole-source 8(a) contract actions that exceed $25 million.