On March 19th, with co- sponsors The Barbour Group (TBG) and Professional Women in Construction (PWC), Asmar, Schor & McKenna, PLLC (ASM) hosted another successful informational event about the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 8(a) Mentor-Protégé and Joint Venture Programs. District Counsel for the SBA, Catalina Martinez, Esq., gave a thorough explanation of the programs as they apply to construction contractors, from both the perspective of the mentor and the protégé. She also explained how SBA views these relationships, reviews/approves the related agreements, and enforces program requirements.
The goal of these programs is, in non-legal terms, to pair large construction firms with smaller 8(a) firms to “enhance the capability of 8(a) Program Participants to be competitive, achieve entrepreneurial success, and contribute to the strength and vigor of our economy.” Ms. Martinez provided a detailed overview of the guidelines and requirements mentors and protégés must meet and maintain in order to participate in the programs, and how these relationships and agreements can help both parties.
Following Ms. Martinez’s presentation, Dennis Ehlers, a government contracts and construction lawyer for ASM, offered attendees information about the programs, related processes, and common legal issues from the standpoint of an attorney who drafts applications and agreements under these programs, and has had to litigate related issues. Then, Chris Smith of TBG closed out the program with his take on planning, financing and risk management from the perspective of bonding and insurance broker who works with many construction contractors who have teamed with others under a mentor-protégé arrangement and/or a joint venture agreement. The program concluded with an opportunity for networking among the attendees and speakers.