November News

SBA Publishes Rule Changes to the 8(a) and Mentor-Protege Programs

The SBA published a proposed rule today to merge the mentor-protege programs and amend many rules governing the 8(a) program and small businesses. 

Mentor-Protege Proposed Rule Changes:

  • Merge the 8(a) Mentor-Protege Program into the All Small Mentor-Protege Program
  • Clarify eligibility criteria for proposed mentors and request comments on whether mentors should be restricted to mid-sized firms
  • Provide flexibility for mentors with proteges with principle places of business in Puerto Rico

Joint Ventures Proposed Rule Changes:

  • Eliminate JV approval requirements for competitive 8(a) contracts, but not sole source awards
  • Eliminate the “three in two” rule
  • Disallow substitution of JV partners who exceed the size standard for long-term contracts prior to re certification

8(a) Program Proposed Rule Changes:

  • Define “follow on contract” for purposes of retaining requirements in the program
  • Loosen the prohibition on immediate family members owning 8(a) firms
  • Allow for certain changes of ownership to occur without prior SBA approval
  • Clarifiy SBA policy on voluntary withdrawals and early graduations from the program

Tribally-Owned Applicants and Participants

  • Where a tribe, ANC, NHO, or CDC is reorganizing but ultimate ownership does not change, no prior SBA approval is required
  • If SBA changes the primary NAICS code of a program participant because the participant has not been operating in its designated primary code for the past three years, another tribal entity be immediately qualified to apply using that code: although the program participant stated that code as its primary NAICS code, it really was not the primary NAICS code, so that code is now available for another 8(a) applicant
  • Appeals be authorized where SBA has changed a firm’s primary NAICS code
  • Potential for success be satisfied by a letter from a Section 17 corporation or some other economic development corporation or tribally owned holding company, so long as it can show financial strength
  • Tribal entities not be required to submit small business subcontracting plans, as long as they are small for the NAICS code assigned to the contract
  • The excessive withdrawal rule generally not be applied to entities at least 51% owned by a tribe, ANC, NHO, or CDC

Small Business Proposed Rule Changes: 

  • Require that mixed contracts include any combination of services, supplies, or construction, though construction was inadvertently omitted from the proposed rule
  • Require that contracting officers consider past performance of first-tier subcontractors for certain bundled or consolidated contracts and for MACs over a certain dollar threshold
  • Clarify that affiliation may be found under the newly organized concern rule where both former and current officers, directors, principal stockholders, managing members, or key employees of one company organize a new company in the same or a related industry
  • Request comments on how the non-manufacturer rule should be applied to multiple item procurements where one or more of the items are subject to a class waiver

Comments on the proposed rule are due by January 17, 2020

View and comment on the proposed Rule Changes HERE

SBA Hosts 5th Annual Mentor Protégé Conference & Matchmaker Session to Connect Small Businesses with Teaming and Federal Contract Opportunities

The U.S. Small Business Administration will host its Mentor-Protégé Conference on November 12-13 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Arlington, Va. The conference will give small businesses access to guidance on federal contracting, face-to-face meetings and opportunities to team with larger businesses and graduates of the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development program.

Some of the topics small businesses will learn about during these forums include: how to submit a winning joint venture proposal, how to build a strong Mentor-Protégé partnership, size and affiliation rules for joint ventures and how to market themselves to the federal government and pursue government contracting opportunities.

When: November 12-13, 9AM – 5PM each day
Location: The Double Tree Hotel in Arlington, VA

REGISTER HERE

SBA HUBZone Program Report

The Historically Underutilized Business Zone Empowerment Contracting (HUBZone) program provides participating  small businesses located in areas with low income, high poverty, or high unemployment with contracting opportunities in the form of set-asides, sole-source awards, and price-evaluation preferences.  Firms must be certified by the SBA to participate in the program. As of October 9, 2019, the SBA’s Dynamic Small Business Search database included 7,107 firms with active HUBZone certifications. 

This report examines arguments both for and against targeting assistance to geographic areas with specified characteristics as opposed to providing assistance to people or business with specified characteristics.Also in the report is an assessment of the arguments both for and against the continuation of the HUBZone program. View the full report HERE

SBA OIG Report on the Most Serious Management and Performance Challenges Facing the SBA in Fiscal Year 2020

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) has provided a report on the Most Serious Management and Performance Challenges Facing the Small Business Administration (SBA) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020.  The goal for OIG is to focus attention on significant issues with the objective of working with Agency managers to enhance the effectiveness of the SBA programs and operations.

SBA’s recent attempt to implement an IT system, certify.SBA.gov, is meant to be a more comprehensive approach to service delivery and broader in scope than just the 8(a) program. It includes the WOSB, HUBZone, and mentor-protégé programs.  Though, in the last Fiscal Year SBA has not made progress in enhancing the functionality of certify.SBA.gov for the 8(a) program.  In FY 2019 SBA went with only using certify.SBA.gov as the certification management system and plans to develop a separate system to monitor 8(a) participants’ business development outside of certify.SBA.gov.

View the full OIG report HERE

SBA: A Primer on Programs and Funding – Report

The SBA administers several types of programs to support small business.

This report provides an overview of the SBA’s programs, including:
Entrepreneurial development programs

  • Disaster assistance
  • Capital access programs
  • Contracting programs
  • SBA regional and district offices
  • The Office of Inspector General
  • Capital investment programs

View the “SBA: A Primer on Programs and Funding” report HERE

FBO Decommissioning Timeline

The Integrated Award Environment (IAE) held a Stakeholder Forum on October 17, 2019. The Forum focused on the decommissioning of FBO.gov and the transition of federal business opportunities into the new beta.SAM.gov website.

For more information on the decommission of FBO visit: GSA.gov

Below is a decommissioning timeline of FBO:

Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOps.gov/FBO.gov) to decommission in November 2019

The FedBizOps.gov (FBO.gov) domain is set to decommission on November 8, 2019.  Federal opportunities will be known as Contract Opportunities in beta.SAM.gov.  The move into beta.SAM.gov will include the ability to search for opportunities by number, keyword, or location for more precise results (including easy-to-use search filters).  You’ll also have the ability to ‘follow’ – or track – contract opportunities in beta.SAM.gov.

More information on the FBO transition: FBO Transition Fact Sheet

SBA HUBZone Program Report

The Historically Underutilized Business Zone Empowerment Contracting (HUBZone) program provides participating  small businesses located in areas with low income, high poverty, or high unemployment with contracting opportunities in the form of set-asides, sole-source awards, and price-evaluation preferences.  Firms must be certified…
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SBA: A Primer on Programs and Funding – Report

The SBA administers several types of programs to support small business. This report provides an overview of the SBA’s programs, including: Entrepreneurial development programs Disaster assistanceCapital access programsContracting programsSBA regional and district officesThe Office of Inspector GeneralCapital investment programs View…
Read More

FBO Decommissioning Timeline

The Integrated Award Environment (IAE) held a Stakeholder Forum on October 17, 2019. The Forum focused on the decommissioning of FBO.gov and the transition of federal business opportunities into the new beta.SAM.gov website.For more information on the decommission of FBO…
Read More
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