Updated as of 9/26/2023.
Q. Why do I need to provide a Social Disadvantage Narrative?
As you may be aware, on July 19, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee issued a ruling affecting the 8(a) BD Program. In this ruling, the Court decided that SBA could not presume individuals to be socially disadvantaged based on their membership in one of the identified groups, such as Asian Pacific Americans, Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Subcontinent Asian Americans, and Native Americans.
To comply with the Court’s order, SBA is requiring all 8(a) Participants whose program eligibility is based upon one or more individuals who relied upon the presumption of social disadvantage to establish their individual social disadvantage by completing a social disadvantage narrative. You are receiving this notice because SBA requires additional information to determine your firm’s continuing eligibility for the 8(a) Business Development (BD) Program in accordance with 13 CFR 124.103(c).
Once submitted, SBA will review your narrative to determine that the firm’s owner(s) has demonstrated personal social disadvantage. Once approved, SBA will provide a social disadvantage qualification letter documenting that you have established social disadvantage and may continue to receive 8(a) contracts and otherwise participate in the 8(a) BD Program. Consistent with existing regulations, 8(a) Participants will only need to establish social disadvantage once for their program term, unless there are ownership/control or other changes which affect eligibility.
Q. Who needs to prepare a Social Disadvantage Narrative?
As of August 22, 2023, the SBA now mandates that both current certified 8(a) Program participants and prospective 8(a) applicants applying to the 8(a) Program must furnish a social disadvantage narrative, irrespective of their minority or non-minority status.
This new requirement applies to individually-owned firms only and does not impact entity-owned firms, such as firms owned by Indian tribes, Alaska Native Corporations, or Native Hawaiian Organizations.