The New SBA Small Business Mentor-Protégé Program Effective August 24, 2016

By Terry Stroud, SBTDC/PTAC Counselor at Fayetteville State University

In a final rule published in the Federal Register on July 25, 2016 the summary advises:

“The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA or Agency) is amending its regulations to implement provisions of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, and the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013. Based on authorities provided in these two statutes, the rule establishes a Government-wide mentor-protégé program for all small business concerns, consistent with SBA’s mentor-protégé program for Participants in SBA’s 8(a) Business Development (BD) program. The rule also makes minor changes to the mentor-protégé provisions for the 8(a) BD program in order to make the mentor-protégé rules for each of the programs as consistent as possible. The rule also amends the current joint venture provisions to clarify the conditions for creating and operating joint venture partnerships, including the effect of such partnerships on any mentor-protégé relationships. In addition, the rule makes several additional changes to current size, 8(a) Office of Hearings and Appeals and HUBZone regulations, concerning among other things, ownership and control, changes in primary industry, standards of review and interested party status for some appeals. Finally, SBA notes that the title of this rule has been changed.”

The new Government-wide SBA small business mentor-protégé program is a significant addition, in that it allows all small businesses to obtain developmental assistance from larger mentors, and form joint ventures with those mentors to pursue set-aside contracts. As noted in the summary, while similar to the SBA’s mentor-protégé program for the 8(a) Business Development (BD) program, there are differences between the two programs that exist, warranting a careful review of any agreement to ensure its compliance with the new regulations that apply. Throughout the final rule published on July 25, 2016, there are many links within the document, referencing the applicable CFR regulations detailing the specifics of the new program, and there are already good articles available on the web summarizing many of the details of the new program:

  • SBA Final Rule: Small Business Mentor-Protégé JV Agreement Requirements Posted on July 25, 2016 by Matthew Schoonover
  • New Small Business Mentor-Protégé Program Announced By The SBA By Michael Payne, Edward DeLisle and Maria Panichelli on July 25, 2016
  • SBA Finalizes “Universal” Small Business Mentor-Protégé Program Posted on July 22, 2016 by Steven Koprince

This new Government-wide SBA small business mentor-protégé program may be the opportunity you have been looking for to take your business the next level and grow the government contracting segment of your small business. To review your potential for this new program and other contracting assistance needs, please contact your local NC PTAC counselor for assistance.

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