Government contracting opportunities can become more accessible through 8(a) certification.
The “8(a) Business Development Program” is a program of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to ensure equal business access for socially and economically disadvantaged business people, including American citizens who are Black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian Pacific or Subcontinent Asian, and in some cases women.
Companies which qualify for 8(a) status must go through a formal application and certification process administered by the SBA. This process is detailed and multi-faceted. Fortunately, the SBA and its Small Business Development Centers, offer training and assistance with the 8(a) process.
Prior to applying for 8(a) status, businesses are urged to take an on-line training and self-evaluation course, which is accessible via the following link: 8(a) Business Development Suitability Tool.
Following the on-line self-evaluation, company representratives should consider attening “8(a) BD Certification Step by Step,” a training class offered by Georgia State University’s Small Business Development Center. The next time this class is offered is on Sept. 23, 2010 in Atlanta. Pre-registration is required and may be accomplished at: http://web.sba.gov/calendar/public/index.cfm?rc=0405.
To view the complete calendar of upcoming SBA events, visit http://www.sba.gov/localresources/district/ga/eventscalender/index.html.