Last August, PilieroMazza reported that Bibi Hidalgo, the Associate Administrator for SBA’s Office of Government Contracting and Business Development, announced that SBA will be suspending the bona fide place of business requirement for 8(a) construction contracts, effective immediately. While the Small Business Act requires that, to the “maximum extent practicable, construction subcontracts awarded by the Administration pursuant to this subsection shall be awarded within the county or state where the work is to be performed,” in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was not practicable to implement this requirement. Accordingly, SBA suspended this requirement to allow more small, disadvantaged businesses to be eligible for and be awarded 8(a) construction contracts. This suspension was set to remain in place through September 2022.
Today, John Klein, SBA’s Associate General Counsel for Procurement Law, announced at the National 8(a) Association Alaska Regional Conference that Ms. Hidalgo made the decision that it continues to not be practicable to implement this requirement. Accordingly, the moratorium will be extended through at least September 2023. Presumably, this moratorium will continue to apply to contracts offered to the 8(a) program from August 25, 2021 – September 30, 2023.