The overarching mission of the Office of Government Contracting and Business Development (“GC BD”) is to assist small businesses to compete for Federal prime contracts and to secure subcontracting opportunities from large businesses.
Within the GCBD -, the Office of Business Development's
(BD’s) specific mission is to execute activities authorized under Sections 8(a) and 7(j) of the Small Business Act.
Under the former, SBA provides business development assistance to firms that are owned and controlled by economically and socially disadvantaged individuals.
Section 7(j) of the Small Business Act authorizes the U. S. Small Business Administration (¬“SBA”) to provide management and technical assistance to eligible individuals and businesses.
To be eligible for 7(j) services, a client must be:
a socially and economically disadvantaged individual whose firm is a participant in the 8(a) Business Development Program; a business that is eligible to receive 8(a) contracts; or a business which qualifies as small under 13 CFR subpart 121 – Small Business Size Regulations; and that is located in an urban or rural area with a high proportion of unemployed or low-income individuals, or which is owned by such low-income individuals.
The term “high proportion of unemployed” means the urban or rural county's unemployment rate is not less than 140 percent of the average unemployment rate for the United States or for the State in which such county is located, whichever is less, based on the most recent data available in the annual Local Area Unemployment Statistics report from the U. S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The term "low-income individual" means an individual whose family's taxable income for the preceding year did not exceed 150 percent of the poverty level amount established by the Bureau of the Census, U. S. Department of Commerce, for determining poverty status.
As a component of BD, the Office of Management and Technical Assistance (“OMTA”) implements the authority that section 7(j) of the Small Business Act (the “Act”) vests with SBA to award contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements to private organizations to pay all or part of the costs of services and projects that provide management and technical assistance to eligible concerns.
Annually, the 7(j) program reaches thousands of eligible businesses located throughout the United States and its territories.
The interstices of Sections 7(j) and 8(a) of the Act are filled in/ ¬ by SBA regulations found at Title 13 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Section 12 4. These rules further define the purpose of the 7(j) management and technical assistance program and define eligible recipients as individuals or concerns eligible for assistance under sections 7(a)(11), 7(j)(10), or 8(a) of the Act.
The regulations also further define the business development assistance available through the 8(a) program and rules governing 8(a) certification and eligibility, servicing and contracting.
One of the Administrator’s major strategic goals is to strengthen the Agency’s entrepreneurial education, counseling, and training resources to support the needs of existing businesses by successfully focusing on core program resources and ensuring these resources are aligned with the needs of high-growth small businesses.
Consistent with that direction/directive, BD’s organizational strategic goal is to coordinate internal and external resources to maximize the availability and effectiveness of training services and products to meet business development needs.