BLOG: FAR Council Rulemaking Error Requires GSA Contractors to Qualify As Small at Time of Award for Certain Orders

As we recently wrote , the FAR Council published a final rule (Rule) on February 27, 2020 that amends the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to capture regulatory changes made by the Small Business Administration (SBA) in 2013, including those pertaining to size representation/certification. However, in drafting the Rule, the FAR Council made a critical change that not only deviate from SBA regulations, but also run counter to everything we know about when the size status of a contractor is determined.  All small . . . Read More

BLOG: Do You Meet the Unique Eligibility Requirements for a PPP Loan?

If you missed the first batch of loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) and want to determine if you are eligible for the next wave of funding that is expected to be added soon, this is what you need to know. Not surprisingly, given this is a very sought-after program, PilieroMazza attorneys are fielding a lot of questions from firms wondering if they qualify for a PPP loan. There are several requirements that need to be considered when assessing eligibility . . . Read More

BLOG: HUBZone Program Flexibility During the COVID-19 Outbreak

In a webinar on March 25, 2020, officials with SBA’s HUBZone Program showed that SBA understands the unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak has created some unique challenges for HUBZone firms. Fortunately, SBA acted proactively to provide flexibilities to HUBZone firms that are struggling to maintain their principal office location and employees during this challenging time.  Highlights from SBA’s webinar included: The new annual recertification process will be voluntary for the remainder of 2020, except for firms that are up for a three-year . . . Read More

BLOG: 8(a) Contractors: To Suspend or Not Suspend In Light of COVID-19

If you are an 8(a) contractor, you may have received a notification from your Business Opportunity Specialist regarding a voluntary suspension due to the March 13, 2020 declaration of a national emergency concerning the COVID-19 outbreak . Covered below are considerations for 8(a) government contractors before they decide to suspend or not to suspend their participation in the 8(a) program. SBA regulations provide a process by which 8(a) contractors may voluntarily elect to suspend their participation in the 8(a) program for a period of up to one year from the date of . . . Read More

BLOG: SBA Issues FAQs on New HUBZone Program Rules

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 . . . Read More

BLOG: Top Priorities from SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza

On January 7, 2020, the Senate confirmed U.S. Treasurer Jovita Carranza as the 26th Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA). During her testimony before the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Carranza listed a number of priorities she will bring to her role at SBA. Below are notable priorities that may impact small businesses and/or government contractors. Provide Better Resources to Small Businesses in Disadvantaged Communities Carranza mentioned that connecting small businesses from disadvantaged communities with SBA support . . . Read More

BLOG: The Implications of SBA’s Proposed Rule Changes for Tribally Owned 8(a) Businesses

The Small Business Administration (SBA) recently published a proposed rule that would merge its mentor-protégé programs and amend many of its rules governing the 8(a) program. Our Firm’s Managing Partner, Pamela Mazza , recently explained the rule’s significant implications for the government contracting community. In particular, SBA’s proposed rule would make a number of changes to the 8(a) program and regulations applicable to tribally owned 8(a) businesses. Pam and her partner Peter Ford will be attending a tribal consultation meeting in Oklahoma City on January 16, . . . Read More

BLOG: Government Agencies Release 2020 Regulatory Agendas

As 2019 comes to a close, the government is setting its short- and long-term goals for 2020. On December 26, 2019, a number of federal agencies released their regulatory agendas for the upcoming year, including the Department of Defense (DoD), the Small Business Administration (SBA), and the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council (which consists of DoD, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the General Services Administration (GSA)). Many regulatory agenda items could impact government contractors and small businesses, . . . Read More

BLOG: Performance Anxiety: Five Questions from Government Contractors on Past Performance

A government contractor’s past performance can spell the difference between proposal rejection and contract award, and agencies are given broad discretion in how they evaluate past performance. It is critical that companies working with the federal government understand not only what steps they should take to utilize and cultivate positive past performance, but also the steps they should take to defend it. We recently gave a webinar on these topics and received several follow-up questions. Below we address the top . . . Read More

BLOG: SBA to Increase Enforcement in 2020 on Set-Asides and Subcontracting

One of the most overlooked compliance requirements for set-aside contracts are the limitations on subcontracting. Don’t take my word for it—GAO has noted in several reports that contracting officers generally do not monitor or enforce the requirement that the small business prime contractor must self-perform a certain percentage of the contract.  The limitations on subcontracting requirements are critical to the efficacy of the small business programs.  Indeed, the goals of the programs are not served if small businesses do not . . . Read More