With SBA Support, Small Disadvantaged Businesses Still Struggle to Reach Federal Customers

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New research from Eddy Communications Corporation reveals key behavioral and attitudinal differences between companies that successfully leverage the SBA's 8(a) program and those that are unsuccessful navigating the federal market, even with government assistance.

SBA, 8(a), Government Contracting, Small Business, Set-asides, sole-source, joint-venture, US Small Business Administration

Despite access to sole-source contracts, joint venture opportunities, and government set-asides many 8(a) program participants question the value of the program.

The results of this study reveal just how overwhelming the government market can be to newcomers who don’t have anyone in their corner,” Jennifer Eddy, Chief Strategist, Eddy Communications Corporation said.

In a yearlong study of small business executives (http://www.eddycommunications.com/the-8a-impact/), Eddy Communications Corporation found that 87 percent of the participants of the US Small Business Administration’s popular 8(a) business development program (for small socially and economically disadvantaged businesses) questioned the overall value of participation, even after completing their 9-year term. Less than half of survey participants said they would confidently recommend the program to a friend in their industry. Nearly 10 percent of respondents advised that they self-terminated their affiliation with the 8(a) program early after determining the burdens of participation outweighed the benefits.

According to the US Small Business Administration’s 2014 budget justification (http://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/files/1-508-Compliant-FY-2014-CBJ%20FY%202012%20APR.pdf), the 8(a) program will cost American taxpayers $68.5 million dollars to run this year and will support approximately 8,000 small businesses. This is a decrease of approximately 300 small businesses served over last year’s budget figures but reflects an anticipated cost increase of $2.5 million dollars (approximately $8,500 per small business served).

The US Federal Government is the largest buyer of both goods and services in the world. Each year hundreds of companies enter the government contracting market hoping to claim a small portion of the more than $1 trillion dollars in discretionary spending allocated by congress annually. To level the competitive playing field and provide more equal opportunities for success, the US Small Business Administration offers several programs to help small businesses succeed. The most popular of these programs include the US SBA’s 8(a) certification for small socially and economically disadvantaged businesses, HUBZONE certification, service disabled veteran owned small businesses, small disadvantaged businesses and women-owned small businesses.

In their 14 page report, Eddy Communications Corporation identifies eight behavioral and attitudinal differences between the 8(a) graduates that excel in government contracting and those left wanting. The report also reveals four priority recommendations for companies planning to graduate from the 8(a) program in the years to come.

“Frankly, we were surprised at just how many businesses made it through the rigorous 8(a) application process and then almost immediately stalled out,” Jennifer Eddy, founder and Chief Strategist of Eddy Communications Corporation said. “We knew about the challenges 8(a) graduates face when they move into full and open competition – for years, many of our clients have sought us out to help them navigate that growth stage. But the results of this study reveal just how overwhelming the government market can be to newcomers who don’t have anyone in their corner.”

The full report including a detailed methodology, study findings, and key recommendations can be downloaded at http://www.eddycommunications.com/the-8a-impact/.

About Eddy Communications Corporation
As a full service sales and marketing firm specialized in supporting complex products, sales cycles and new market entry, the team at Eddy Communications is focused on impactful business development. From holistic growth planning to new solution roll out, traditional advertising to social media, and public relations to client communications, Eddy Communications Corporation’s experienced marketing professionals help clients prioritize, plan, implement and measure their marketing efforts to continuously maximize their return on investment.

For more information, visit: http://www.eddycommunications.com.

Jennifer Eddy
Chief Strategist
Eddy Communications Corporation

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