As of September 29, 2023, the SBA’s certify.gov portal for submitting 8(a) applications (for both individually owned and entity-owned applicants) is back open and accepting new applications.
The SBA had previously stopped accepting new applications to the 8(a) program after it developed its response to the injunction issued in Ultima Services Corp. v. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, et. al., Case No. 2:20-cv-, which prohibited the SBA from applying a rebuttable presumption of social disadvantage to certain individuals.
The SBA states on its website that:
SBA has updated the application by adding a plain language fillable questionnaire for applicants to identify social disadvantage. Firms continue to have the option to prepare a social disadvantage narrative and upload it directly to Certify.
The SBA has also published a that addresses the impact of the injunction in Ultima and how social disadvantage will be determined.