Overview of the 8(a) Program

The 8(a) program is a business development program designed to assist socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses, including Native Hawaiian Organization owned enterprises.  The program was created by the Small Business Development Act of 1958 and the regulations governing the act and it's subsequent amendments generally fall under 13 CFR part 124.

In the 1980s, Congress expanded the program to include small businesses owned by four disadvantaged groups.  The final group of that four, Native Hawaiian Organizations, was added to the program by Congress in the Business Opportunity Development Reform Act of 1988.  A fuller discussion of the 8(a) program is available in the Congressional Research Service report entitled "SBA's 8(a) Program: Overview, History and Current Issues", last updated on August 24, 2020.

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