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Rep. Yvette Clarke Applauds SBA Rulemaking on 8(a) Business Development Program

Washington, D.C. – Recently, the Small Business Administration (SBA) proposed a series of changes to existing regulations concerning the 8(a) Business Development program.  The 8(a) Program provides participating small businesses with training, technical assistance, and contracting opportunities in the form of set-asides and sole-source awards.  Small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals are eligible for the program.

“This rulemaking -in the first year of the Obama Administration- is proof positive that Administrator Mills is writing a new chapter in SBA history,” stated Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke.  “The proposed regulations which address size standards, clarify ownership requirements, and more fully define economic disadvantage come at a crucial time.  During this economic crisis it is appropriate to reassess the strengths and weaknesses of the program to better serve our nation’s disadvantaged businesses.”

“I applaud President Obama and Administrator Mills for their commitment to strengthening small firms.  This rulemaking is a good first step, as scant attention has been paid to the 8 (a) program in the past decade.  However, more must be done to ensure that small businesses are given every opportunity to create jobs given the 10.2% unemployment rate.  Now is the time to make small businesses a real priority in America, and I look forward to working with Administrator Mills to address concerns about 8 (a) and other programs going forward,” concluded Clarke.