There are more than 170 million pieces of debris in space. This debris has accumulated over years and years of launching hundreds of satellites into orbit; the same satellites that allow us to rely on GPS, Instagram all our travel photos, or even make this blog available to the masses. While there is almost a 0% chance any of this space debris will land in your front yard, or on your shoulder, it still poses a significant risk to other satellites in various orbits around earth.
To stem the growth of space debris, the Federal Communications Commission recently released a proposed rule, 84 FR 4742, that significantly changes how satellite launches are both planned and tracked. Unfortunately, these changes will likely drive up costs of accessing space, making small business participation even more challenging than it already is.
Amidst the news cycle focusing on the government shutdown, there is some other action in the House of Representatives that recently caught our eye.
The House recently passed a bill called the “Expanding Contracting Opportunities for Small Businesses Act of 2019.” If the bill becomes law, we will see a dramatic expansion in the size of sole source contracts for SDVOSBs, WOSBs, and HUBZones.
This changes the period of time the U.S. Small Business Administration uses to measure a business’s size in revenue-based size standards from three years to five years. The law doesn’t say that there will be a period of implementation, so it’s reasonably safe to assume the effect is immediate.
One of the biggest mistakes small business owners make is planning their exit strategy too soon. Whether a contractor wants to enter, grow, or exit the market, a small business owner must understand how buying or selling their business can play a large role in their success. Below are some tips for all three phases:
The House and Senate have passed the “Small Business Runway Extension Act of 2018,” which appears poised to become law in the coming days. As my colleague Matt Moriarty has written, the bill would amend the SBA’s small business size rules to use a five-year average, instead of a three-year average, in calculations using receipts-based size standards.
The purpose of the bill is to help contractors avoid becoming “other than small” following a period of quick growth, but not all companies will benefit. For companies with declining revenues, the bill may backfire, causing those companies to be stuck as large businesses longer.
NAICS code appeals can be powerful tools. A change in a solicitation’s NAICS code–and corresponding change in the small business size standard–can significantly broaden or narrow the competitive playing field. And statistically speaking, NAICS code appeals are often successful.
But NAICS code appeals are subject to strict rules. As a recent SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals case confirms, NAICS code appeals cannot be lodged against presolicitations.
The DoD has issued a final rule making major changes in the DoD “Pilot” Mentor-Protege Program. The rule took effect on March 23, 2018.
Among the major changes, DoD has both expanded and contracted the universe of potential proteges–and has included a mandatory certification that seems to completely misunderstand the SBA’s joint venture rules and processes.
Here is my take on the good, the bad, and the ugly from the final rule.