New thresholds for SBA’s 8(a) government contracting assistance program: Who qualifies now?

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    Certain smaller businesses should re-evaluate whether they qualify for the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development program for those owned by “socially and economically disadvantaged people or entities,” following the recent effective date of an SBA final rule adjusting the requirements.

    Under the new guidelines, the thresholds for owners for “economically disadvantaged” designation have been raised as follows. Note that SBA also will no longer distinguish between “initial” and “continuing” eligibility; these new limits apply regardless of stage. 

    • Net worth increased from $250,000 to $750,000 (excludes funds invested in individual retirement accounts (IRAs) or other retirement accounts) 
    • Personal income (averaged over the three preceding years) increased from $250,000 to $350,000 
    • Fair market value of all assets increased from $4 million to $6 million 

    This SBA final rule, which went into effect July 15, aligns the 8(a) program with the same eligibility qualifications of the SBA’s Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) program. 


    Rebecca Kehoe, JD, Manager, Government Contracting



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