The Ins and Outs of NAICS Code Appeals

By Katie Flood In this time of heightened competition on all federal procurements, it is critically important that small business contractors use the tools at their disposal to help them stay competitive and secure work. While agencies are able to “set-aside” work for small businesses, a fundamental aspect of these set-asides ends up being the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes and the corresponding size standards which must be assigned. The NAICS code determines the industry which “best describes” the work to be performed . . . Read More

SBA’s Template for Joint Venture Agreements – Is it OK to Use for your 8(a) Joint Venture?

By Kimi Murakami The answer as to whether 8(a) firms can use the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (“SBA”) joint venture (“JV”) agreement template seems to depend on which SBA District Office your small business is governed by. Recently, some of our small business clients that are governed by the SBA’s Washington Metropolitan Area District Office received notice from their Business Opportunity Specialist (“BOS”) that the agency’s template for JV agreements would no longer be accepted. It is unclear whether this is true for all SBA District Offices or perhaps applicable only for this particular District . . . Read More

Attract and Retain Top Talent When You Cannot Compete Straight Up on Cash

One of the biggest challenges that a business owner may face is attracting and retaining top talent to help drive value and build their company. There are a variety of employee incentive compensation tools that can be used to attract and retain talent. Business owners need to consider: Which type of employee incentive tools will work best for that particular business owner’s company? To answer that question, a business owner needs to drill down on what goal is to be . . . Read More

Skipping Intervention in a GAO Bid Protest Can Be a “Pound Foolish” Exercise

Virtually everyone agrees that bid protests before the U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) are valuable tools to ensure the integrity, fairness, consistency, and predictability of the federal procurement system. However, for awardees of federal contracts, bid protests by their competitors are often a frustrating and costly process that can cause delays and uncertainties for their future operations. Because of the costs and distractions to the business, it is not uncommon for contractors—particularly those who are small—to choose not to intervene or otherwise participate in . . . Read More

Big Jumps Proposed to Size Standards for Environmental Remediation and Other Employee-Based Size Standards

 On September 10th, SBA released proposed increases to the small business size standards for many of the industries that use employee-based size standards.  The affected industries include some very popular ones for the contracting community, such as Environmental Remediation Services (exception to 562910), Research and Development in Biotechnology (541711), and Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences (541712).  In many cases, the proposed increases are significant, allowing more and larger firms to qualify as small in these . . . Read More

The Importance of a Formal Document Retention Policy

By Brian Wilbourn As all of us are likely painfully aware, the volume of emails, correspondence and other documents that we generate and receive, whether we’re at home or at work, seem to grow at an ever-increasing rate. At home, we can often dispose of unwanted papers and files with little worry. In business, however—and for government contractors in particular—disposing of the wrong documents can have serious consequences. On the other hand, while contractors do not want to delete the . . . Read More

2013 Federal Small Business Contracting Scores an A!

  By Barbara Connell with Aronson LLC On August 1, 2014, the Small Business Administration (SBA) released the  Small Business Procurement Scorecard for fiscal year 2013. The annual scorecard is an assessment tool that measures how well federal agencies reach their small business and socio-economic prime contracting and subcontracting goals and reports agency-specific progress. Federal agencies scored an A for fiscal year 2013, achieving 100.6% of their 2013 small business contracting goals. For the first time in over 7 years, the federal government exceeded . . . Read More

“Justice Delayed?” Not here. Be prepared for the “Rocket Docket”

As you arrive at the front door of the courthouse of the Alexandria Division of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (“EDVA”), you are met with a sculpture of a blindfolded Lady Justice bearing the slogan “Justice Delayed is Justice Denied.” And believe me, they are not kidding. Resolution of your business dispute will occur at breakneck speed, so be prepared! Known nationally as the “Rocket Docket,” the EDVA resolves cases at a pace roughly twice as fast as that for federal courts nationally; the average time from the . . . Read More