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More socially disadvantaged seek help from SBA

A division of the Small Business Administration that specializes in socially and economically distressed businesses reports it is experiencing a significant increase in inquiries.

The division is SBA’s 8(a) Business Development program, which works with socially and economically disadvantaged people. According to’s Web site, the associate administrator of the program said before October of 2008, the program received between 60 and 80 applications per week. Since October, the number has risen from between 80 to 100.

Businesses that qualify for 8(a) designation can compete for contracts that are specifically set aside for 8(a) companies. Approximately 8,000 such companies exist currently.
Information on eligibility is available at

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