Small Business & Other Preferential Programs

Petrillo & Powell, PLLC regularly advises small businesses and minority-owned business, including 8(a) concerns and small disadvantaged businesses (SDBs), on the special requirements to obtain and keep preferential status, as well as on general government contracting issues.  We also counsel veteran-owned and woman-owned concerns on the requirements and opportunities for preferential treatment.  We help  large businesses planning to team with small and other businesses avoid inadvertently disqualifying the prime contractor from preferential status.   Our work for them includes compliance with the requirements and regulations of the Small Business Administration (SBA), and, for veteran-owned concerns, the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Mr. Petrillo has conducted a Webinar on Veterans Contracting Preferences for the Public Contracting Institute.

We advise our clients on such issues as:

  • How to structure their relationships to avoid findings of affiliation and other disqualifying events
  • Whether and when to protest the size status of a competitor
  • How to respond to a size protest
  • Whether and when to protest a NAICS code designation (size standard)
  • What procurement preferences and advantages are available to a concern
  • How to comply with requirements such as limitations on subcontracting.

We have developed and used a variety of billing methods, such as discounts, retainers, and full and partial contingencies, to help make our legal services more affordable for our small business clients.


For a description of new regulations covering the small business subcontracting program, click here.

Articles and Interviews

Small business program rules will be changed by the National Defense Authorization Act.  Joseph Petrillo, Federal News Radio, April 2, 2013.

An SBA Inspector General’s report charges that an Alaska Native Corporation passed over 90% of its set-aside contract to a large business.  Joseph Petrillo, Federal News Radio, Oct. 9, 2012.

A case that’s been pending since 1995 affects how the 8(a) program can be used to acquire training and simulation — and may have broader implications.  Joseph Petrillo, Federal News Radio, Aug. 28, 2012.

Is Anything Small in Small Business IT Contracting? Powell, Karen D. GCN. March 18, 2003

Recent problems have come to light in the way agencies report their small business contracting performance.

Out-of-Character SBA Cracks Down on Bundling. Petrillo, Joseph J. GCN. November 16, 1999

Low-Income Areas Get a Boost from SBA Program. Petrillo, Joseph J. GCN. August 9, 1999

Interested in qualifying for the SBA’s HUBZone program? Read about the ground rules in the linked article