Last year, on November 8, 2019, the Small Business Administration (SBA) published a comprehensive proposal to revise various aspects of its regulations in response to President Trump’s executive order calling for the reduction in unnecessary and burdensome regulations. Given the nature of the proposed revisions and the timing of the release, SBA provided an extended time period for comments—ultimately receiving over 180 comments on the proposed rule. Close to a year later, on October 16, 2020, SBA issued the final rule. With one exception, the changes in final rule took effect on November 16, 2020.
The relevant SBA rulemakings are available here:
- Proposed Rule: Consolidation of Mentor Protégé Programs and Other Government Contracting Amendments, 84 FR 60846-01, 2019-23141.pdf (govinfo.gov)
- Final Rule: Consolidation of Mentor-Protégé Programs and Other Government Contracting Amendments, 85 FR 66146-01, 2020-19428.pdf (govinfo.gov)
As reflected by the name of the rulemaking, the marque change was the consolidation of the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development (BD) Mentor-Protégé Program and the All Small Mentor-Protégé Program. SBA went well beyond just consolidating that program—the final rule contains amendments and changes to a whole host of key SBA rules such as the regulations governing small business joint ventures (at 13 C.F.R. § 125.8 and the corresponding joint venture rules for the various statuses), the affiliation tests (at 13 C.F.R. § 121.103), the recertification rule (at 13 C.F.R. § 121.104), and the 8(a) rules (at 13 C.F.R. Part 124).
On December 16, 2020, Amy O’Sullivan and Olivia Lynch presented a webinar on the regulatory updates to the All-Small Mentor-Protégé Program and SBA’s joint venture rules. Also on this webinar, Crowell’s Robert Burton engaged in a Q&A with Robb Wong, former Associate Administrator, Office of Government Contracting and Business Development of the Small Business Administration, to provide greater insight into the purpose of the rulemaking. You can access the audio recording and slides from this webinar here.
Crowell’s team focused on small business issues will be publishing a series of blog posts providing practical guidance and analysis on the most significant of the changes from this rulemaking or those for which we’ve received the most questions to date. These include: