SBA Update: How the 8(a) program creates opportunity for historically disadvantaged populations – Vickey Evans

In commemoration of Black History Month, the Small Business Administration (SBA) takes great pride in celebrating the remarkable journey of a Black-owned small business that has flourished through the invaluable support of the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program. On today’s episode of the SBA Update, we are honored to have Vickey Evans, the esteemed President and CEO of the CORG Management Group, and Allen Thomas, the distinguished Regional Administrator of the SBA, join us. 

CORG Management Group was established in 2008 after Evans spent 15 years in corporate America. CORG is a construction facility and maintenance company primarily located in Columbia, South Carolina, but touches all across the southeastern region. 

Key Takeaways 

1. The SBA 8(a) program is an excellent initiative to highlight during Black History Month. Apart from all of their other programs, the 8(a) program creates an equal playing field for historically economically disadvantaged populations in the country. The program was designed and developed to establish opportunities for government contracting for all. It creates generational wealth opportunities for populations of color who have historically been excluded.

2. Thomas noted that during World War II, large companies had access to all of the contracts, and every year, the federal government has nearly $600 billion in government contracts. However, through the SBA, they ensure that 23% of government contracts are reserved for small businesses.

3. Over the past several decades, the program has served as a trustworthy business development platform. Since enrolling in the program, Evans, for example, has been educated about the assets of her business she wasn’t confident in, such as marketing, joint ventures, and sub-contracting. Furthermore, Evan notes that the application process can be tedious, but it won’t take as long if all your books are in order. For example, it only took Evans six months to be approved for her loan.

4. Thomas highlights some additional criteria of the loan application process, including prior work experience in 8(a) firms and the majority ownership of minority or equally disadvantaged segmentation. To learn more about those specifications, you can visit Individuals must also have had a business operational for at least two taxable years.

5. The program is a nine-year program that allows businesses to have opportunities to learn, grow, and mentor those further down the economic chain. For example, Evans has received several 8(a) awards, including a construction build project, a multimillion-dollar contract; in Puerto Rico, they have a construction five-year $25 million contract, and then the most recent contract was the ten-year $80 million contract. “So being in this program has helped us move along and receive these additional contracts,” Evan says.

"Try to focus on those areas you have proven past performance, and that will yield you a better chance of being awarded a contract." – Vickey Evans.

Did you know? ASBN America’s Small Business Network is now available to stream in over 70 million broadcasting households for users with Roku, Firestick, AppleTV, and mobile Android [download] and Apple IOS [download] devices.