8a certification statistics

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The limited number of 8(a) Certified firms in the United States gives these firms the unique opportunity to bid on Federal Contract set asides. That means that only 8(a) certified firms are allowed to bid and win these contracts without any outside competition. This number is lowered even more as industry specific bids come in to play.

As of 5/20/2014 the SBA Los Angeles District office, which Covers the Counties of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Ventura has only 214 approved 8(a) firms in it’s database. An extremely low number when considering that there are thousands of businesses in Los Angeles alone.

As of 5/20/2014 the SBA’s Santa Ana District Office which covers Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties only has 140 approved 8(a) firms in it’s database. 

As of 5/20/2014 the San Diego District Office which covers San Diego County, has only 164 approved 8(a) firms in it’s database.

Total Southern California Figures are roughly 518 approved firms.

In California, there are a total of 802 certified firms or 11% of all certified firms are represented by California.

In the United States, there are only 7,236 certified 8(a) firms.

Let’s do some math. If averaged out, each firm would be getting around $2,487,562 in annual contract work. Although this will never happen due to the majority of the firms being inactive in contract participation, it gives you an idea of how powerful having the 8(a) certification can be.

 

8(a) Certifications Data:

Los Angeles: 214

Santa Ana: 140

San Diego: 164

California: 802

United States: 7,236

*Figures provided by SBA’s Dynamic Small Business Search as of 5/20/2014.

 

Paul Mazbanian SBC Consultants, Inc. www.sbclending.com/ paul@sbclending.com/ 818-551-9400

Paul Mazbanian
SBC Consultants, Inc.
www.sbclending.com/
paul@sbclending.com/
818-551-9400

 

The SBA’s Narrative Statement of Social Disadvantage.

 

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The SBA requires all applicant to complete a Narrative of Social disadvantage. In this article, I will be discussing the following.

1. What is the Narrative Statement of Social Disadvantage?

2. Why does the SBA require it?

3. How should you write it?

1. What is the Narrative Statement of Social Disadvantage?

The Narrative Statement of Social Disadvantage is a story an applicant writes about themselves on instances in their life where they have experienced some type of set back due to their racial background. To prove social disadvantage, the individual(s) owners must ultimately show that such personal experiences had a negative impact on entry into or advancement in the business world.

2. Why does doe SBA require it?

The SBA states that certain minority groups are designated as socially disadvantaged. That is, these groups throughout the course of history, are believed to have experienced racism. Of course, not everyone experiences this, and those who have, unfortunate as that may be, need to explain how and why to be eligible for the 8(a) program. The 8(a) program, as sated in our last articles, helps level the paying field for minorities, giving them greater opportunities to complete in a more fair playing field.

3. How Should You Write It?

The answer here is simple. Truthfully. Successful narratives are written starting with their childhood experiences, leading up to college and finally in the work force. I met with a Mexican American client today, and he didn’t quite understand how he was socially disadvantaged. Initially he could not think of any stories, but after asking him a few simple questions on his high school years and his career, he began to think of specific moments in his life that he at first did not realize what were inevitably socially inappropriate remarks by his peers. For example, accusations of fraud based on his skin color was one. A second was a teacher thinking he was cheating because he earned a high score on an exam. He was asked to retake the test in a separate room and scored an A. The teacher never questioned him again. Traumatic. I know.

Unfortunately, it’s stories like these that have kept minorities from excelling in this great country and these stories need to be told. Hence, the SBA wants to make certain that individuals applying for the 8(a) Certification have been one time or another Socially Disadvantaged.

 

Paul Mazbanian SBC Consultants, Inc. www.sbclending.com/ paul@sbclending.com/ 818-551-9400

Paul Mazbanian
SBC Consultants, Inc.
www.sbclending.com/
paul@sbclending.com/
818-551-9400

The 8(a) Social Disadvantage Eligibility Explained

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One important requirement  of the 8(a) Certification is that you meet not only the Economic definition of disadvantage but also the Social definition of disadvantage.

What does it mean to become Socially Disadvantaged?

For the purposes of the 8(a) program, the SBA deems certain minority sectors as Socially Disadvantaged. This is because, throughout the course of history, the SBA feels that certain groups have been discriminated against and therefore have not had the same opportunities as others. These presumed groups are:

  • Black Americans
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Native Americans
  • Asian Pacific Americans
  • Subcontinent Asian American

If you do not find yourself in one of these groups, you may still apply for the 8(a) certification as long you prove to the SBA how you have been held back. “To do so, the business must prove to SBA that the individual(s) meeting SBA’s ownership and control requirements is socially disadvantaged. This process includes showing personal experiences where applicable in education, employment, and business history.”

There is no getting around this easily, so making up stories will not work. The SBA is very strict when they say proof must be given through a preponderance of evidence. To prove social disadvantage, the individual owners must ultimately show that such personal experiences had a negative impact on entry into or advancement in the business world.

Evidence Requested by the SBA for those not included in any of the above presumed groups:

  • At least one objective distinguishing feature such as race, ethnic origin, gender, physical handicap, long-term residence in an environment isolated from the mainstream of American society, or other similar causes not common to individuals who are not socially disadvantaged.
  • Personal experiences of substantial and chronic social disadvantage in American society, not in other countries.
  • Negative impact on the individual’s entrance into the business world or advancement in the business world because of the stated disadvantage(s).
Paul Mazbanian SBC Consultants, Inc. www.sbclending.com/ paul@sbclending.com/ 818-551-9400

Paul Mazbanian
SBC Consultants, Inc.
www.sbclending.com/
paul@sbclending.com/
818-551-9400