HUBZone Map Changes – New Information Released for Over 100 Non-Metropolitan Counties

By Katie Flood Good news for many HUBZone (or HUBZone-interested) firms:  The SBA has just announced that 104 non-metropolitan counties have been designated as newly qualified HUBZones or have had their redesignation periods extended, based on 2013 unemployment data recently released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While the SBA  has provided the new information  on the counties in the form of PDF and Excel documents,  the HUBZone maps  have not yet been updated.  However, simply because the map has not been updated would not prevent a contractor . . . Read More

Strategic Tips for Approaching Lenders and How to Choose the Right One

For those small businesses that are looking to obtain debt financing or to refinance existing debt, there are some strategic planning tips to consider in approaching and selecting a potential lender. As the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression.  With lenders, this first impression is all-important.  Failing to make a good one can be the difference between a lender making or not making a loan.  And, this first impression will also significantly influence the . . . Read More

Presumed Loss Rule: They Are Who We Thought They Were

After a gut-wrenching loss on Monday Night Football several years ago, former Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Dennis Green, speaking about the victorious Chicago Bears, famously ranted:  “They are who we thought they were.  And we let them off the hook!”  Since the implementation of the SBA’s presumed loss rule last year, you should be applying the same sentiment to your subcontracts with small businesses.  Make sure your subcontractor is who you thought they were, and do not let them off . . . Read More

State Law No Defense to Miller Act Claims

Since I work with a number of construction contractors, I always get the question of whether the state law chosen to govern the contract has material impact on the contract and/or whether it could be determined which state laws would be best for our client.  For instance, Colorado has a law restricting a prime contractor’s ability to disallow receivable financing (such as “Factoring”), and Virginia law prohibits revising (or “Blue Penciling”) restrictive covenants in agreements which are found to be . . . Read More

It’s Not Just Michael Jordan’s Number Anymore: Previewing the SBA 2013 Small Business Procurement Scorecards

By Megan Connor Although the  SBA is not ready  to make its formal announcement yet, government-wide spending for fiscal year 2013 exceeded the 23% spending goal for small businesses for the first time in seven years. Based on data released via the  Small Business Dashboard , of the $356 billion eligible dollars spent by the government in fiscal year 2013, small businesses received $83.4 billion or 23.43%. Meeting the 23% government-wide goal for 2013 is even more notable considering  Bloomberg’s recent study , which showed that overall federal contract spending fell by . . . Read More

Simplified Renewal: Not So Simple After All for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses

Nothing in life is as simple as it seems, so it should come as no surprise to Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (“VOSBs”) and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (“SDVOSBs”) that the Center for Verification and Evaluation (“CVE”) simplified renewal (“SR”) application process is not necessarily a walk in the park. The SR process is available to VOSBs and SDVOSBs that have been previously verified with a full document examination. Through this supposedly streamlined process, instituted by CVE to reduce the time and . . . Read More

Strategic Sourcing a.k.a. Constructive Criticism

The small business community’s ongoing struggle to increase its access to federal contracting and its share of the federal spend is facing yet another challenge. We say that small businesses are more robust then larger firms and are more able to adapt and mobilize in less time. Well the fact is that they have to be–particularly in our current environment. As the pie shrinks and agencies struggle to do more with less, a new or recycled term has emerged as . . . Read More

Potential Bid Protest Dangers: When the Agency Produces Documents Early

By Alex Levine To paraphrase Virgil, beware of agency counsel bearing gifts.  Under the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) bid protest rules, an agency is required to produce a report within 30 days of a protest that includes a copy of all relevant documents.  However, there is nothing preventing an agency from producing some or all of these documents even sooner.  And, in recent cases, we have seen agency counsel increasingly doing so. While the agency almost never explains why . . . Read More

Proposed FAR Amendment Would Greatly Expand Policing of Contract Employees for Personal Conflicts of Interest

People are people. As such, contract employees and self-employed subcontractors will inevitably create relationships with others based on common interests. Most of these relationships are, for purposes of this discussion, benign. However, in some cases, the relationships of contractors’ employees can result in actual or potential conflicts with the interests of the federal government. According to the  Federal Acquisition Regulation  (“FAR”), a personal conflict of interest means “a situation in which a[n] employee has a financial interest, personal activity, or relationship that could . . . Read More

“Are You Being Served?” If So, Your ESI Must Be Preserved!

Unlike the classic British sitcom “Are You Being Served?”, as any business owner who has been on the receiving end of a threat of litigation or was served with a complaint can attest, there is nothing remotely amusing about what is in store for the company. And one of the most challenging, time-consuming and costly aspects of litigation is the discovery process—whereby each side, if asked through interrogatories and document requests, must show its respective hand, in the process producing . . . Read More