Earlier this month, the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued its answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) concerning the new rule changes to the HUBZone Program. These FAQs follow the December 26, 2019 effective date of the new HUBZone rules, and should be helpful for current and potential HUBZone firms.
The FAQs address common confusions in the new rules. For instance, SBA answers how to take credit for an employee who resided in a HUBZone as of the date of certification and for 180 days thereafter, but moved or took extended leave before the firm’s annual recertification. SBA also defines 30 days as “timely,” for purposes of a HUBZone firm’s obligation to timely notify SBA if it acquires, is acquired by, or merges with another entity.
Open questions about the new HUBZone rules remain, and we anticipate SBA will issue further guidance. For example, if a firm’s original HUBZone certification date was in January, should that firm confirm with SBA that they remain HUBZone eligible or wait for SBA to reach out to initiate the annual certification process? We understand firms should do the latter, but are awaiting official guidance from SBA. Additionally, for a solicitation issued after the new rules took effect, a HUBZone protest would determine the awardee’s status as of its annual certification date. But if the awardee has not gone through its first annual certification yet under the new rules, how will SBA judge that awardee’s eligibility? Again, we believe SBA will address this and other open questions.
If you have any questions about how the new HUBZone rules impact your company, please contact a member of PilieroMazza's Government Contracts and Small Business Programs practice groups.