Court decision impacts SBA’s 8(a) Small Business Development Program

Court finds presumption of social disadvantage unconstitutional as it violates a right to equal protection. Since the decision in mid-July, there has been a lot of confusion about what this means for current 8(a) program participants and those that were actively in the application process. Under the current eligibility criteria for the program, a firm is presumed to be socially disadvantaged if it is owned and controlled by certain people including African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islander Americans. Other people outside of these presumed groups can successfully apply to be in the 8(a) program, but must provide a compelling narrative as to why they should also be considered socially disadvantaged. Historically, these applicants made up of about 10% of the total applicants each year and only half of these were approved.

While we wait for official word from the Small Business Administration and an appeal in court, we turn to legal experts for advice on what to do now, if anything. There is consensus that:

  • There will not be an immediate impact on existing 8a program participants except perhaps a chilling effect as agencies may be less likely to utilize the program out of fear of protests and delays.
  • Any new applicants into the program will need to provide a narrative demonstrating a preponderance of evidence that their social disadvantages have had an impact on their business.

Your local PTAC/APEX Advisors are meeting with the SBA today to learn more about the status of the application process and will remain up to speed on any new developments. In the meantime, read more at,, and

Your Washington PTAC is now Washington APEX Accelerator! Watch our new logo appear on our website, emails, and social media accounts later this month and trust that while we have a new name, we will still provide the same amazing government contracting assistance that we’ve provided for 30+ years. 

“It’s an exciting time for Washington PTAC as we join our colleagues around the country in rebranding to APEX Accelerator. With this rebrand, we will have enhanced visibility and support from our partners at the federal government," commented program director Tiffany Scroggs.

Contact Us

Contact a PTAC Counselor today for assistance with all your government contracting questions. Click on a counselor's name to email them or give them a call at the phone number listed.

Main Center

Thurston EDC

4220 6th Ave.

Lacey, WA 98503


Program Manager

Tiffany Scroggs


Kate Hoy

Trena Payton 

Maryam Lynch-Tate

Marnie Tyson

Lisa Lagerstrom

Grady Smith

Tori Stoner 

Sub Centers

Economic Alliance

Snohomish County   

(425) 248-4223

Cara Buckingham

Greater Spokane Inc.

(509) 321-3646

Aleesha Roedel

Columbia River Economic Development Council

Julia Krivoruk 

Green River College

(253) 520-6267

Darrell Sundell

Melinda Martirosian


Kitsap Economic Development Alliance

(360) 377-9499

Mary Jo Juarez

Leslie Miller

James Davis

Terry Homburg 

Tri-City Regional

Chamber of Commerce

(509) 491-3231

Maria Alleman


Other News:

  • Port of Seattle kicks off their latest Advanced PortGen series, a 5-week virtual training series followed by an in-person resources fair and networking event. Classes start September 12th.
  • US Small Business Administration has issued their annual Procurement Scorecard. A record-breaking $163 Billion in Federal Procurement Opportunities were awarded to small businesses last year. Read more about the impact locally here.
  • Thank you to the dozens of firms who recently provided PTAC, an APEX Accelerator a testimonial as to how we helped your business grow through government contracting. For example: “PTAC has provided guidance and services that have benefited our disadvantaged business in many ways. We are grateful for their help and often refer to them with questions or when needing to be pointed in the right direction.” ~ Ed Duncan, Hi Grade Asphalt & Seal Coat, Inc. Do you have a success story to share with PTAC/APEX? Email [email protected].
  • In honor of Black Owned Business Month, PTAC/APEX representatives are pleased to be speaking at several upcoming events. Join us at The RUDD’s R.U.B.B. Initiative presents 2nd Annual Black Business Leadership Conference and Thurston Chamber’s BIPOC Business Expo.

Top Tip: Connecting with your regional economic development organization is a great idea for innovative firms. These organizations will connect you to local resources including options for locating a physical location or finding and training employees. Greater Spokane Inc is the lead for Eastern Washington and works on local, state and federal levels to advocate for projects that will grow their region. They also assist businesses from start-up to growth and expansion stages by providing a plethora of no or low-cost services.

Learn more about GSI and other resources around our state by visiting Innovation Station.

Upcoming SBIR/STTR Announcements

Upcoming SBIR/STTR Releases – Have an innovative solution the government might benefit from? Checking out these agency topic releases several times per year can provide valuable insight into what innovations the government needs and is looking for small businesses to provide.

Agencies releasing topics in July include:


You can find more information and relevant links at the SBIR Website.

Upcoming Events for Innovators

  • Securing SBIR funding (featuring DOE and EPA and SBA ) August 2, 2023
  • USDA SBIR Agency Introduction – August 9, 2023
  • NSF Office Hours: Preparing your Phase 1 Proposal – August 10 and 24, 2023
  • SBIR 101 – August 25, 2023
  • Find these and other events on the PTAC calendar

Other Funding

Need a Challenge? Check out for exciting opportunities.

Questions? Kate Hoy, [email protected]

Upcoming Events - Virtual unless otherwise noted

Keep scrolling to find upcoming events divided into four categories:

  • Focused Classes
  • Monthly Meetings
  • Series Courses
  • Tradeshows
Upcoming Events - Focused Classes

Jacobs S/DBE Outreach Events for Sound Transit West Seattle Link Extension (WSLE) Final Design

8/1/2023, 2:00 PM - 2:30 PM, virtual

8/8/2023, 6:00 PM- 8:00 PM, 1000 4th Ave, Seattle Public Library-Central Library, Seattle, Washington, 98104-1109

Jacobs invites you to meet our team and learn more about this and other opportunities expected to be procured over the next year. We will provide a brief overview of project opportunities and answer any questions.

Government Contracts and Cybersecurity: Ensuring Compliance and Protection

8/3/2023, 10:00 AM - 11:30 PM, Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County, 1932 E. College Way, Mount Vernon, Washington, 98273

Upcoming federal cybersecurity requirements are no joke. Learn what you need to do to be compliant and eligible for contracts. Topics include CMMC, NIST 800-171, cybersecurity self-assessment tools, and mandatory requirements.

PCL Small Business Summer Social

8/3/2023, 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM, 13920 SE Eastgate Way, Bellevue, Washington, 98005-4440

Come out to enjoy an opportunity to network with PCL leadership, key operations and estimating members, our major MEP trade partners, community partners, and other WMBE businesses. We will also showcase our upcoming opportunities in aviation, special projects, and more. Lastly, we will be providing food by three minority-owned catering vendors to enjoy throughout the event!,


Subcontracting with Vigor

8/10/2023, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Learn how to be a Vigor supplier. You can expect to find work for Commercial and Government projects. Working with Vigor is an excellent entry-point for Small Businesses breaking into Government Subcontracting for the first time. Attending this session may open up an opportunity for your firm to grow.

The Summer Certification Series - City of Kirkland & OMWBE

8/10/2023, 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Kirkland City Hall, 123 5th Avenue , Kirkland, Washington, 98033

Learn how you can be awarded contracts from the City of Kirkland in:

·     Construction

·     Consulting (Administrative, City Planning, Financial, etc.)

·     Engineering and Architect

·     Subcontracting

·     Many More Opportunities!

Get OMWBE certified on-site during the series!

Solicitation Review: Go or No-Go Decisions

8/15/2023 - in-person, Tuesday 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM, Thursday 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM, Kitsap Bank, 607 Pacific Avenue, Bremerton, Washington, 98337

8/22/2023 - virtual, 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM DAY 1 & 1:00 pm - 5:00 PM DAY 2,

There are many things to consider in whether to go after an award for a contract or not. This workshop will provide tools to conduct a solicitation review to make a "GO" or "NO-GO" decision. Our goal in this workshop is to make sure you are not surprised after the contract award of missed terms and conditions.

Wednesday Webinars with SBA Seattle: Federal Contracting 101- SBA

8/16/2023, 10:00 AM -11:00 AM, Wednesday Webinars

Wednesday Webinars with SBA Seattle is an ongoing series of free, virtual, webinars covering a variety of topics to benefit small business owners. On the third Wednesday of each month, we will be focusing on government contracting opportunities, certifications, and business development programs.

Upcoming Events - Monthly Sessions

Contracting Coffee Hour, 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM, 8/2/2023

Got contracting questions? We have answers!

University of Washington Virtual Workshops for Suppliers, 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM, 8/3/2023

The orientations will provide a learning opportunity to assist in navigating potential business prospects at the University and with other state agencies, as well as educational and other resources to assist businesses. 

PTAC & SBDC First Friday Follow-up, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM, 9/1/2023

Friday Follow-up is an open forum, round table for businesses to get answers from your local PTAC counselor and SBDC Advisor. Bring your questions regarding government contracting and learn from knowledgeable Small Business Experts. Our main focus is to share resources for growing your business.

PTAC: Prime Connect, 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM, 8/9/2023

A structured matchmaking event for Primes and Subcontractors to connect on future projects.

Wednesday with the Deputy for Small Business, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM, 8/30/2023

Wednesday with the Deputy for Small Business is an opportunity for Industry partners to learn about doing business with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division, Keyport.

Doing Business with the state – DES, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM, 9/21/2023

On the third Thursday of the month, the Washington State Department of Enterprise Services (DES) facilitates an interactive conversation with state procurement professionals who can provide information and insight on how to do business with the state. 

Procurement Power Hour: Welcome Back to PPH, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM, 8/30/2023, 7130 West Grandridge Blvd. (Tri-Cities Business and Visitor Center), Kennewick, Washington, 99336

PPH is a dynamic initiative aimed at facilitating learning and fostering growth among our valued PTAC clients. This program brings together local businesses owners in an engaging forum designed to provide invaluable insights into the ever-evolving world of procurement.

Hora de Poder de Adquisiciones (Spanish Session for Procurement Power Hour), 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM, 8/30/2023, 7130 West Grandridge Blvd. (Tri-Cities Business and Visitor Center), Kennewick, Washington, 99336

Únete al programa totalmente en español, “Hora de Poder de Adquisiciones” esta es una iniciativa dinámica dirigida a facilitar el aprendizaje y fomentar el crecimiento entre nuestros valiosos clientes de PTAC. Este programa reúne a propietarios de negocios locales en un foro interactivo diseñado para brindar conocimientos invaluables sobre el siempre cambiante mundo de las adquisiciones. En estas sesiones interactivas de intercambio de conocimientos, los asistentes tendrán la oportunidad de explorar y discutir desafíos similares. Estos talleres cuidadosamente seleccionados cubrirán una amplia gama de temas, incluyendo certificaciones, mercadotecnia e innovadoras tecnologías de adquisiciones. Al reunir a los clientes en este entorno colaborativo, nuestro objetivo es capacitar a las empresas con los conocimientos y habilidades necesarias para sobresalir en el competitivo mercado gubernamental de hoy.


Nuestro tema para septiembre, "Bienvenidos a la Hora de Poder de Adquisiciones", será una discusión en formato de foro abierto principalmente para compartir ideas e inquietudes sobre temas actuales, como certificaciones y narrativas de capacidades, así como para renovar el interés de las pequeñas empresas de la zona en este programa excepcional.

La asistencia es gratuita y se requiere preinscripción.

Upcoming Events - Series Courses

Port of Seattle’s Advanced PortGen


A 5-week virtual training series followed by an in-person resources fair and networking event for small, minority and women-owned businesses wanting to learn how to be successful with government contracting. Learn how to identify requirements to be responsive and gather resources to support your efforts in selling to the Port of Seattle and other agencies.


Tuesdays 3 – 5 PM


·     Government Contracting, 9/12/2023

·     Business Development, 9/19/2023

·     Prevailing Wage Compliance, 9/26/2023

·     Bonding and Insurance, 10/3/2023

·     Financial Considerations, 10/10/2023

·     Resource Fair (in-person at Tabor 100), 10/17/2023

Upcoming Events - Tradeshows

GSA’s Small Business Works 2023 Training & Matchmaking Event, 8/3/2023, 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM

Yellowstone Industry Day and Request for Information, 8/7/2023, 12:00 PM- 4:00 PM

King County Wastewater Treatment Division Contractor Networking Event, 8/9/2023, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

2023 Black Business Leadership Conference - R.U.B.B. Initiative, 8/19/2023, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

2023 Washington Regional Contracting Forum, 9/20/2023, 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

2023 Washington State BizFair, 9/23/2023, 8:30 AM - 1:00 PM

SAVE THE DATE: Infrastructure Assistance Coordinating Council Conference, 10/24/2023

North Puget Sound Contracting Conference, 10/26/2023, 10:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Meet the BIGS! Doing Business with the Government, 11/2/2023, 8:00 AM-1:00 PM

Govology classes, live and on-demand, are Free for Washington PTAC clients – contact your PTAC counselor for access. Click here for Govology’s live classes. 


Recorded webinars are available. 

PTAC Calendar
PTAC provides technical assistance to help Washington businesses successfully compete in the government marketplace. A program of the Thurston Economic Development Council, in partnership with the following subcenters: