New CIO-SP4 Modification – An Undue Restriction on Competition and a Violation of SBA Regulations?

On June 22, 2021, the National Institutes of Health Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center (NITAAC) issued its third modification to the Chief Information Officer-Solutions and Partners 4 (CIO-SP4) Request for Proposals (RFP). Among other things, NITAAC made significant changes to how subcontractors and mentors in Small Business Administration (SBA) approved mentor-protégé programs are treated for purposes of the evaluation. The RFP appears to disallow the use of any subcontractor experience, past performance, or other qualifications, including from small businesses, . . . Read More

SBA Extends the HUBZone Map Freeze to June 30, 2023

Today, the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued a direct final rule extending the HUBZone map freeze from December 31, 2021, to June 30, 2023.  The direct final rule (available here ) takes effect on June 21, 2021.  This is the latest in a series of developments for the HUBZone Program in 2021; read PilieroMazza’s previous coverage on the developments impacting the HUBZone Program here and here .  Several years ago, SBA froze the HUBZone maps until December 31, 2021, to ensure that firms . . . Read More

Biden Signs EO to Increase Federal Contractor Minimum Wage Rate to $15.00 an Hour

Yesterday, President Biden signed an executive order (Biden Order) that will increase the applicable minimum wage rate to be paid to workers performing work on or in connection with federal contracts from $10.95 to $15.00 per hour beginning January 1, 2022. As early as his second day in office, President Biden committed to modifying an Obama-era executive order to get one step closer to a national minimum wage increase of the same magnitude. Below are key details on the applicability of the . . . Read More

SBA Pivots to Say HUBZone Firms in Redesignated QDA Cannot Maintain 10-Year Principal Office Eligibility Through Long-Term Investment

In January, we issued a client alert discussing how HUBZone firms in redesignated areas could plan to maintain their HUBZone status after the end of 2021. One of the primary strategies we discussed in the client alert was based on Small Business Administration (SBA) guidance about long-term investments in qualified disaster areas (QDAs). At the time, based on SBA guidance, we understood that HUBZone firms located in redesignated areas could qualify their current HUBZone principal office location as HUBZone eligible for at . . . Read More

Maryland Essential Workers’ Protection Act: How It May Impact Maryland Employers

Although many employers have taken discretionary measures to protect essential employees, there are currently few mandated health and safety requirements at the federal or state level. On January 20, 2021, the Maryland General Assembly’s Senate and House of Delegates introduced the Maryland Essential Workers’ Protection Act . With the bill, Maryland is now considering joining the growing group of states that are imposing requirements on employers who employ essential workers or require employees to work on-site. If passed, it would require employers who employ “essential . . . Read More

The End of An Area: Planning Now for Potential Loss of HUBZone Status

2021 is an important year for the many HUBZone firms located in redesignated areas that will lose HUBZone status after 12/31/21. For these firms, the time is now to plan for maintaining HUBZone status in 2022 and beyond. Here’s what you need to know. If you are located in a redesignated area that loses HUBZone eligibility after this year, you could make plans this year to move your office to a new location that will still be HUBZone eligible after . . . Read More

SBA to Publish Interim Final Rule on Extension of 8(a) Participation

Both the Appropriations Act and the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act permit businesses who were participants in the 8(a) Business Development program on or before September 9, 2020, to extend their participation in the program for a period of one year. Accordingly, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is expected to publish a final rule incorporating this mandate tomorrow, January 13, 2021. Below are key takeaways for government contractors seeking to extend participation in the 8(a) program. Eligibility Requirements Through . . . Read More

SBA Provides Direction for PPP Round Deux Loans and Second Draw Loans

On January 6, 2021, the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued its first round of formal guidance for the new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the second-draw PPP loans, which we first discussed here . SBA also gave some indication of plans for the second round of the PPP. SBA’s guidance can be found here for the next phase of PPP and here for the second-draw program. Below are key updates for businesses that need access to this important source of relief funding. As . . . Read More

PPP Round Deux Update

On December 27, 2020, the President signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which includes the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act (the “Act”). The Act allows a “Second Draw” of Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans up to $2 million, expands the permissible uses for which such loans may be used, simplifies the loan forgiveness application for some borrowers, and makes other related changes to the PPP program. While 2021 may bring relief in the form . . . Read More

PPP Round Deux: Who Qualifies, For How Much, and Forgiveness Changes

While the President vetoed the 2021 NDAA—and has put COVID relief into question—he has not yet acted on the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which contained the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act (the Act) dealing with the second round of PPP Loans.  So, while the Act may be in jeopardy of a veto also, it has not yet occurred and, regardless, it is likely many of the PPP Loan provisions contained in the Act will be . . . Read More