Initiative to expand federal contracting with small disadvantaged businesses


The 8(a) MAS Pool initiative will help more 8(a) certified companies gain access to federal contracting opportunities beginning May 26, 2023

Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the US Small Business Administration (SBA), and Administrator Robin Carnahan, head of the US General Services Administration (GSA), announced a joint assistance initiative called the 8(a) MAS Pool Initiative Small Disadvantaged Businesses (SDBs), Those participating in the 8(a) Business Development Program gain access to more federal contracts in the GSA’s Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) program and further President Biden’s goal of increasing the number of contracts at SDBs. This agreement establishes a pool of 8(a) companies to make it easier for procurement officials to find and contract with small, disadvantaged companies across all industries.

Once enrolled in the newly established 8(a) MAS pool, participants will receive an award indicating to agency buyers that a company is eligible for 8(a) single source awards and competitive shutdowns. Federal agencies can leverage the scale and scope of the MAS marketplace to meet their SDS contract goals while making smart purchasing decisions.

“This joint SBA-GSA initiative will increase federal contracting opportunities for thousands of minority and other small, disadvantaged businesses and underscores the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to procurement equity and achieves President Biden’s ambitious goal,” SBA said -Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzmán. “Our 8(a) small businesses are agile, innovative and focused on growth, and they can also help federal agencies procure the products and services they need to do their jobs.” We look forward to continuing to work with the GSA and our Working together with federal agency partners to implement the 8(a) MAS Pool initiative and help ensure this valuable small business talent doesn’t fall by the wayside.”

“We know that America’s diverse small business communities provide tremendous value to our government and taxpayers,” said GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan. “We’re excited about this new pool, which will make it easier for federal acquisition professionals to find them, shop from them, help them create jobs, and advance agency missions across government.”

This agreement is a collaboration between the SBA and the GSA to implement improvements in federal contracting under Executive Order (EO) 13985 – Promotion of Racial Justice and Support of Underserved Communities by the Federal Government. The new 8(a) MAS pool in the GSA Multiple Award Schedule will continue President Biden’s commitment from day one to promoting equity and will build on this Administration’s historic effort to provide socially and economically disadvantaged businesses with greater access to federal contracts and such create new jobs New ways for more minority-owned small businesses to compete in the federal market.

Client agencies will be able to award 8(a) special awards once the MAS call for entries is updated and the MAS 8(a) companies are in the pool, starting later this year. This initiative will result in greater ordering flexibility under the GSA Schedule program and will streamline the acquisition process, further incentivizing agencies to contract with 8(a) firms. In addition, government buyers gain better access to a large number of 8(a) contractors that help agencies meet their contract goals for small and socio-economic businesses.

The SBA certifies small businesses that are considered socially and economically disadvantaged under its nine-year 8(a) Business Development (BD) program. The 8(a) BD program offers participants through powerful contractual tools such as: B. The ability to source contracts through a single source, significant opportunities to develop and grow their businesses, create wealth and create jobs in historically underserved communities. The program also includes regular business development training with SBA’s district teams and offers one-on-one consulting, business workshops, and managerial and technical consulting programs.

GSA’s MAS program consists of long-term, government-wide contracts that provide government buyers with access to products, services and solutions at pre-negotiated prices. MAS is broken down into 12 major categories and further broken down into Special Item Numbers (SINs) that represent the products and services sold and purchased on the schedule.

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