February 05, 2021 Feature

Big Changes in Small Business Regulations: Recent Rule Changes and Their Effect on Contractors

Daniel H. Ramish

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has opened the regulatory floodgates. On October 16, 2020, the agency issued a Final Rule that makes significant changes to small business regulations intended to reduce burdens on small businesses, eliminate redundancies in its programs, and clarify points of confusion.1 The headline change is the SBA’s consolidation of its 8(a) and “all small” mentor-protégé programs, but as is SBA’s wont, the agency made a wide array of other unrelated changes in the Final Rule as well. Among these other changes, SBA is revising rules pertaining to the 8(a) program, mentor-protégé relationships, joint ventures, size and status recertification, and the time of assessment of compliance with the ostensible subcontractor and joint venture rules. Most of the regulatory changes went into effect on November 16, 2020, with the exception of certain changes to the women-owned small business (WOSB) program and the economically disadvantaged women-owned small business (EDWOSB) program, which were effective upon the SBA’s issuance of the Final Rule on October 16, 2020.2

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