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The U.S. Small Business Administration said today it has placed a moratorium on a rule requiring participants in SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program to establish a “bona fide place of business” within a specific geographic area in order to be awarded a federal construction contract. 

The moratorium applies to all 8(a) Business Development Program construction contracts offered between Aug. 25, 2021 and Sept. 30, 2022. During the moratorium, any 8(a) Program participant seeking an 8(a) construction contract (either on a sole source or competitive basis) will not be required to have or establish a bona fide place of business in any specific geographic location related to the contract. 

The SBA said it was making this modification to make it easier for small, disadvantaged businesses to be eligible for 8(a) Program contracts. 

“The SBA is committed to finding innovative ways to assist small businesses, particularly small, disadvantaged businesses that have been historically underserved,” said Bibi Hidalgo, associate administrator for SBA’s Office of Government Contracting and Business Development.  

“This change to the SBA’s 8(a) program – our flagship contracting program born out of the Civil Rights movement – will help small businesses continue to drive our economic recovery and position themselves at the forefront of our nation’s reimagined economy,” Hidalgo said. 

Each year, the federal government awards about 10% of all federal contract dollars, or roughly $50 billion in contracts, to small, disadvantaged businesses. SBA’s Office of Government Contracting and Business Development monitors the progress of 24 executive branch agencies in contracting with small, disadvantaged businesses.  

Businesses can register with SBA as a small, disadvantaged business if they meet size requirements and are 51% or more owned and controlled by a socially and economically disadvantaged individual(s).  

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