13 CFR § 124.509 - What are non-8(a) business activity targets?

§ 124.509 What are non-8(a) business activity targets?

(a) General.

(1) To ensure that Participants do not develop an unreasonable reliance on 8(a) awards, and to ease their transition into the competitive marketplace after graduating from the 8(a) BD program, Participants must make good faith efforts to obtain business outside the 8(a) BD program. Work performed by an 8(a) Participant for any Federal department or agency other than through an 8(a) contract, including work performed on orders under the General Services Administration Multiple Award Schedule program, and work performed as a subcontractor, including work performed as a subcontractor to another 8(a) Participant on an 8(a) contract, qualifies as work performed outside the 8(a) BD program.

(2) During both the developmental and transitional stages of the 8(a) BD program, a Participant must make good faith efforts, including following a reasonable marketing strategy, to attain the targeted dollar levels of non-8(a) revenue established in its business plan. It must attempt to use the 8(a) BD program as a resource to strengthen the firm for economic viability when program benefits are no longer available.

(b) Required non-8(a) business activity targets during transitional stage -

(1) General. During the transitional stage of the 8(a) BD program, a Participant must achieve certain targets of non-8(a) contract revenue (i.e., revenue from other than sole source or competitive 8(a) contracts). These targets are called non-8(a) business activity targets and are expressed as a percentage of total revenue. The targets call for an increase in non-8(a) revenue over time.

(2) Non-8(a) business activity targets. - (i) During their transitional stage of program participation, Participants must meet the following non-8(a) business activity targets each year:

Table 1 to Paragraph (b)(2)(i)

Participant's year in the transitional stage Non-8(a) business activity targets
(required minimum
non-8(a) revenue
as a percentage of
total revenue)
1 15
2 25
3 30
4 40
5 50

(ii) Any Participant that extended its program term pursuant to § 124.2(b) of this chapter must meet the business activity target for year 5 or meet the applicable requirements of paragraph (d) or (e) of this section in order to preserve its eligibility for sole source 8(a) contracts during the extended program period. The applicable business activity target for the extended program period will be the same as that for year 5 of the transitional stage (i.e., 50% non-8(a) revenue).

(3) Compliance with non-8(a) business activity targets.SBA will measure the Participant's compliance with the applicable non-8(a) business activity target at the end of each program year in the transitional stage by comparing the Participant's non-8(a) revenue to its total revenue during the program year just completed. Thus, at the end of the first year in the transitional stage of program participation, SBA will compare the Participant's non-8(a) revenue to its total revenue during that first year. If appropriate, SBA will require remedial measures during the subsequent program year. Thus, for example, non-compliance with the required non-8(a) business activity target in year one of the transitional stage would cause SBA to initiate remedial measures under paragraph (d) of this section for year two in the transitional stage.

(4) Certification of compliance. A Participant must certify as part of its offer that it complies with the applicable non-8(a) business activity target or with the measures imposed by SBA under paragraph (d) of this section before it can receive any 8(a) contract during the transitional stage of the 8(a) BD program.

(c) Reporting and verification of business activity.

(1) Once admitted to the 8(a) BD program, a Participant must provide to SBA as part of its annual review:

(i) Annual financial statements with a breakdown of 8(a) and non-8(a) revenue in accord with § 124.602; and

(ii) An annual report within 30 days from the end of the program year of all non-8(a) contracts, options, and modifications affecting price executed during the program year.

(2) At the end of each year of participation in the transitional stage, the BOS assigned to work with the Participant will review the Participant's total revenues to determine whether the non-8(a) revenues have met the applicable target. In determining compliance, SBA will compare all 8(a) revenues received during the year, including those from options and modifications, to all non-8(a) revenues received during the year.

(d) Consequences of not meeting competitive business mix targets.

(1) Beginning at the end of the first year in the transitional stage (the fifth year of participation in the 8(a) BD program), any firm that does not meet its applicable competitive business mix target for the just completed program year must demonstrate to SBA the specific efforts it made during that year to obtain non-8(a) revenue.

(2) If SBA determines that an 8(a) Participant has failed to meet its applicable competitive business mix target during any program year in the transitional stage of program participation, SBA will increase its monitoring of the Participant's contracting activity during the ensuing program year.

(3) As a condition of eligibility for new 8(a) sole source contracts, SBA may require a Participant that fails to achieve the non-8(a) business activity targets to take one or more specific actions. These include requiring the Participant to obtain management assistance, technical assistance, and/or counseling from an SBA resource partner or otherwise, and/or attend seminars relating to management assistance, business development, financing, marketing, accounting, or proposal preparation. Where any such condition is imposed, SBA will not accept a sole source requirement offered to the 8(a) BD program on behalf of the Participant until the Participant demonstrates to SBA that the condition has been met.

(4) If SBA determines that a Participant has not made good faith efforts to meet its applicable non-8(a) business activity target, the Participant will be ineligible for sole source 8(a) contracts in the current program year. SBA will notify the Participant in writing that the Participant will not be eligible for further 8(a) sole source contract awards until it has demonstrated to SBA that it has complied with its non-8(a) business activity requirements as described in paragraphs (d)(4)(i) and (ii) of this section. In order for a Participant to come into compliance with the non-8(a) business activity target and be eligible for further 8(a) sole source contracts, it may:

(i) Wait until the end of the current program year and demonstrate to SBA as part of the normal annual review process that it has met the revised non-8(a) business activity target; or

(ii) At its option, submit information regarding its non-8(a) revenue to SBA quarterly throughout the current program year in an attempt to come into compliance before the end of the current program year. If the Participant satisfies the requirements of paragraphs (d)(2)(ii)(A) or (B) of this section, SBA will reinstate the Participant's ability to get sole source 8(a) contracts prior to its annual review.

(A) To qualify for reinstatement during the first six months of the current program year (i.e., at either the first or second quarterly review), the Participant must demonstrate that it has received non-8(a) revenue and new non-8(a) contract awards that are equal to or greater than the dollar amount by which it failed to meet its non-8(a) business activity target for the just completed program year. For this purpose, SBA will not count options on existing non-8(a) contracts in determining whether a Participant has received new non-8(a) contract awards.

(B) To qualify for reinstatement during the last six months of the current program year (i.e., at either the nine-month or one year review), the Participant must demonstrate that it has achieved its non-8(a) business activity target as of that point in the current program year.

Example 1 to paragraph (d)(4).
Firm A had $10 million in total revenue during year 2 in the transitional stage (year 6 in the program), but failed to meet the minimum non-8(a) business activity target of 25 percent. It had 8(a) revenues of $8.5 million and non-8(a) revenues of $1.5 million (15 percent). Based on total revenues of $10 million, Firm A should have had at least $2.5 million in non-8(a) revenues. Thus, Firm A missed its target by $1 million (its target ($2.5 million) minus its actual non-8(a) revenues ($1.5 million)). Because Firm A did not achieve its non-8(a) business activity target and SBA determined that it did not make good faith efforts to obtain non-8(a) revenue, it cannot receive 8(a) sole source awards until correcting that situation. The firm may wait until the next annual review to establish that it has met the revised target, or it can choose to report contract awards and other non-8(a) revenue to SBA quarterly. Firm A elects to submit information to SBA quarterly in year 3 of the transitional stage (year 7 in the program). In order to be eligible for sole source 8(a) contracts after either its 3 month or 6 month review, Firm A must show that it has received non-8(a) revenue and/or been awarded new non-8(a) contracts totaling $1 million (the amount by which it missed its target in year 2 of the transitional stage).
Example 2 to paragraph (d)(4).
Firm B had $10 million in total revenue during year 2 in the transitional stage (year 6 in the program), of which $8.5 million were 8(a) revenues and $1.5 million were non-8(a) revenues, and SBA determined that Firm B did not make good faith efforts to meet its non-8(a) business activity target. At its first two quarterly reviews during year 3 of the transitional stage (year 7 in the program), Firm B could not demonstrate that it had received at least $1 million in non-8(a) revenue and new non-8(a) awards. In order to be eligible for sole source 8(a) contracts after its 9 month or 1 year review, Firm B must show that at least 35% (the non-8(a) business activity target for year 3 in the transitional stage) of all revenues received during year 3 in the transitional stage as of that point are from non-8(a) sources.
Example 3 to paragraph (d)(4).
Firm C elected to extend its participation in the 8(a) BD program as set forth in § 124.2 of this chapter. Firm C had $10 million in total revenue during year 5 in the transitional stage (year 9 in the program), of which $8.5 million were 8(a) revenues and $1.5 million were non-8(a) revenues, and SBA determined that Firm C did not make good faith efforts to meet its non-8(a) business activity target. In order to be eligible for sole source 8(a) contracts during year 6 of the transitional stage (year 10 in the program), Firm C must demonstrate at its first or second quarterly review that it had received at least $3.5 million in non-8(a) revenue and new non-8(a) awards (the amount by which it failed to meet the 50% non-8(a) business activity target for year 5 in the transitional stage). If, at its first two quarterly reviews during year 6 of the transitional stage (year 10 in the program), Firm C could not demonstrate that it had received at least $3.5 million in non-8(a) revenue and new non-8(a) awards, Firm C would not be eligible for sole source 8(a) contracts for the remainder of its program term.

(5) In determining whether a Participant has achieved its required non-8(a) business activity target at the end of any program year in the transitional stage, or whether a Participant that failed to meet the target for the previous program year has achieved the required level of non-8(a) business at its nine-month review, SBA will measure 8(a) support by adding the base year value of all 8(a) contracts awarded during the applicable program year to the value of all options and modifications executed during that year.

(6) SBA may initiate proceedings to terminate a Participant from the 8(a) BD program where the firm makes no good faith efforts to obtain non-8(a) revenues.

(e) Waiver of sole source prohibition.

(1) Despite a finding by SBA that a Participant did not make good faith efforts to meet its non-8(a) business activity target, SBA may waive the requirement prohibiting a Participant from receiving further sole source 8(a) contracts where a denial of a sole source contract would cause severe economic hardship on the Participant so that the Participant's survival may be jeopardized, or where extenuating circumstances beyond the Participant's control caused the Participant not to meet its non-8(a) business activity target.

(2) SBA may waive the requirement prohibiting a Participant from receiving further sole source 8(a) contracts when the Participant does not meet its non-8(a) business activity target where the head of a procuring activity represents to SBA that award of a sole source 8(a) contract to the Participant is needed to achieve significant interests of the Government.

(3) The decision to grant or deny a request for a waiver is at SBA's discretion, and no appeal may be taken with respect to that decision.

(4) A waiver generally applies to a specific sole source opportunity. If SBA grants a waiver with respect to a specific procurement, the firm will be able to self-market its capabilities to the applicable procuring activity with respect to that procurement. If the Participant seeks an additional sole source opportunity, it must request a waiver with respect to that specific opportunity. Where, however, a Participant can demonstrate that the same extenuating circumstances beyond its control affect its ability to receive specific multiple 8(a) contracts, one waiver can apply to those multiple contract opportunities.

[63 FR 35739, June 30, 1998, as amended at 74 FR 45754, Sept. 4, 2009; 76 FR 8261, Feb. 11, 2011; 85 FR 66189, Oct. 16, 2020; 86 FR 2533, Jan. 13, 2021; 86 FR 38538, July 22, 2021]

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