SBA is slowly going digital. The Agency rolled out Certify.SBA.gov last year and is in the process of transitioning all of its programs to the site. According to Certify.SBA.gov, the site is currently only available for Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) and Mentor Protégé programs. The timeline for fully incorporating the rest of the programs are as follows: 8(a) in Winter 2017; HUBZone in Spring 2017; and Dynamic Small Business Search in Summer 2017.
We were a bit hesitant when these new procedures were implemented because we anticipated some hiccups with the transition. We were particularly concerned that each supporting document needed to be uploaded separately and we were not sure if Cerfity.SBA.gov could accommodate large files. However, we have found Certify.SBA.gov to be easy to use, time saving, and environmentally friendly (no more wasting a ream of paper on an application!). We also like the time and money saved from not having to mail in huge application packages. If/when SBA comes back with questions about your application, they are also requiring responses and additional documents be uploaded via Certify.SBA.gov. While the new procedures have saved time on application preparation, unfortunately, we have not seen that going electronic has accelerated the application processing times.
We look forward to SBA fully transitioning over to Certify.SBA.gov, especially 8(a) annual reviews. We will continue to update our blog on our thoughts as SBA continues its transition.
Please contact us at (808) 369-9710 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about how we can help you with pursuing small business certifications, including 8(a).