SBA Releases New Small Business Award Data Hub

While some federal contractors have (understandably) been focused on the court decision that found the 8(a) Program’s rebuttable presumption of social disadvantage for members of certain racial minorities unconstitutional, the SBA doesn’t just operate the 8(a) Program. It has to look out for all small businesses in America as well. In connection with this obligation, the agency recently released a new web application that allows visitors to discover a great deal about federal small business awards and socio-economic set aside awards. Called the “Small Business Data HUB,” this free program provides some interesting insights on how the government awards contracts. In this post, we’re going to explore this datahub a little and see what’s going on.

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Podcast: Understanding the 8(a) Lawsuit and Its Impact: Attorney John Holtz Reveals All

John Holtz was recently interviewed by Dr. Kizzy Parks with K. Parks Consulting, Inc. about the current 8(a) Program situation and the pause on applications. Please use this link to access this informative podcast and we invite you to visit YouTube for all of Kizzy Parks podcasts concerning federal government contracting matters.

8(a) Rule Update: Agencies Can’t Limit 8(a) Competition to Participants with Additional Certifications, SBA Clarifies Bona Fide Place of Business for Construction Contracts

A few months ago, we explored SBA’s new rule that made changes to the 8(a) program, the limitations on subcontracting rules, and the ostensible subcontractor rule. There was another aspect of that new rule that also makes some needed clarification on how contracting officers can limit 8(a) competitions, and we want to briefly explore that here.

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Initial Challenge to 8(a) Presumption of Social Disadvantage for Certain Minority Groups Succeeds: What This Means for Now

On July 19, 2023, the federal district court of the Eastern District of Tennessee issued a decision regarding a case involving the rebuttable presumption of social disadvantage in place under the 8(a) Business Development Program. Ultima Servs. Corp. v. U.S. Dep’t of Agric., 220CV00041DCLCCRW, 2023 WL 4633481, at *1 (E.D. Tenn. July 19, 2023). This decision found that this presumption is unconstitutional as it violates the right to equal protection. This, understandably, has caused a great deal of confusion and concern for current and potential 8(a) Program participants. In this post, we will not be providing our opinion on the correctness of the court’s decision (or analyze it from a policy perspective), as we will leave that to attorneys who specialize in constitutional law. Instead, we will go over the decision, what it means, and what it could affect down the road.

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The Thaw: Dealing with the End of the HUBZone Map Freeze

Well, summer is certainly here. You only need to step outside to be able to tell. And with the arrival of summer, the long-awaited end to the HUBZone map freeze just occurred on June 30, 2023. The new map took effect the following day, July 1, 2023. If you’re in the HUBZone program, or are considering certification in the HUBZone program, you might have some questions as to what this means for you. In this post, we’ll explore what the changes will bring.

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Clarity is Key: An Example of Why Clear Language is Important for Showing SDVOSB Control

While SBA has taken over SDVOSB certification from the VA (along with some other rule changes), some things remain the same. One thing which we think will never change, is that making sure the language in your agreements is clear, is vital for the federal contractor (and indeed all businesses). While this is obvious for things like operating agreements and bylaws, documentation like meeting minutes should be clear as well. In a recent appeal of a denial of SDVOSB certification, a company had to go through what must have been a frustrating ordeal that might have been prevented with just a little extra language in the meeting minutes, only to have to deal with further frustration due to a couple of details.

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OASIS+ Small Business: A Preview

GSA has produced a number of successful contract vehicles over the years, one of which was the One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Solution or “OASIS.” This vehicle, used to acquire professional services (not including information technology) for the government, was so successful that GSA is in the process of preparing its sequel, OASIS+. On March 6, 2023, the agency issued its second draft RFP, and the final RFP is expected soon. In light of this, we’re going to go through some of the planned provisions for OASIS+ for small businesses, with special attention to the provisions on teaming arrangements and joint ventures.

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