John Shoraka, Associate Administrator of Government Contracting and Business Development at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), testified before the House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and the Workforce on October 27, 2015. Concerns were raised regarding the stagnant progress of implementing the expansion of the mentor-protégé program as provided for in the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 and the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (NDAA).
SBA’s proposed rule, published on February 5, 2015, expands the mentor-protégé program to include all small businesses, which is currently only available to 8(a) small businesses (read more about the proposed rule on our February 11 blog post). The SBA estimates the final rule will be issued in the first quarter of fiscal year 2016 and expects to launch a pilot program in late summer 2016.
Mr. Shoraka testified that a major concern the SBA is facing in implementation of the rule is the lack of funding to manage the expected influx of mentor-protégés – which was not increased with the expansion of the mentor-protégé program.