From Eight Days to 105 Days: The Incredible Lengthening of the SBA’s Mentor-Protégé Program Application Timeline

In February 2017, the SBA announced that applications for its new All Small Mentor-Protégé Program were being processed, on average, in just eight days. Fast forward four-and-a-half years, and the SBA’s mentor-protégé application processing timeline has gotten just a wee bit longer.

As in, 105 days.

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House Subcommittee Proposes New SBIR/STTR Phase III Transition Pilot Program

Congress is at work on the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act–major annual legislation that often includes significant changes to the laws impacting government contractors.

This year’s NDAA promises to be no different. Among potential changes: the House Subcommittee on Cyber, Innovative Technologies, and Information Systems has proposed to establish a pilot program to help transition more Phase II SBIR/STTR awardees to Phase III.

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Number of Small Businesses Awarded Federal Government Contracts Has Dropped 12.7% in Four Years

The number of small businesses receiving government contracts dropped yet again in Fiscal Year 2020–and the four-year decline is 12.7%.

In its FY 2020 goaling scorecard, the SBA reported that 45,661 distinct small businesses received contracts in the top 100 NAICS codes. The previous fiscal year, 46,661 distinct small businesses received contracts. Four years ago, when SBA first started including this statistic in its annual reports, the number stood at 51,866. Clearly, the numbers are going in the wrong direction.

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Does the SBA’s Rosy Spin on Goaling Achievement Hurt Small Businesses?

“Overpopulation crisis solved!” That’s the sort of headline I expect the SBA’s press team would write the day after a global thermonuclear war.

Obviously, I’m exaggerating a wee bit to make my point, but the SBA’s press release on FY 2020 small business goaling achievement follows a pattern I’ve seen across several Presidential administrations and SBA Administrators: when it comes to reporting on the small business goals, the SBA fervently emphasizes the good news while almost entirely ignoring the bad.

If you look past the headlines and examine the raw data, there is plenty of bad news to be found in the FY 2020 goaling report. So is the SBA doing a disservice to small businesses by pretending this bad news doesn’t exist?

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Event: Top 21 Legal Mistakes in Federal Government Contracting

The federal government contracting rulebook is notoriously complex and confusing–but not all confusion is created equally. As attorneys serving federal contractors (many of them small businesses), my colleagues and I often see contractors making the same common legal mistakes or holding the same common legal misconceptions.

On August 12, please join me and Nicole Pottroff as we cover our top 21 legal mistakes in federal government contracting–with an emphasis on small business issues–and explain how to avoid them. This webinar is hosted by our friends at Govology and it is easy to register: just click here. See you on August 12!

Is the Revision to the FAR’s Limitations on Subcontracting Finally Nearing the Finish Line?

On June 30, 2016, a major new SBA regulation took effect, overhauling the limitations on subcontracting. The SBA’s new regulation, codified at 13 C.F.R. 125.6, replaced the “old” formulas for calculating compliance–like “cost of the contract incurred for personnel,” for service contracts, with new, easier-to-use formulas based on the amount paid by the government. And, in a major boon for small businesses, the SBA’s new regulation allowed small primes to count work performed by “similarly situated entities” toward the prime’s own self-performance.

But more than five years after the SBA regulation took effect, the FAR’s provisions governing the limitations on subcontracting still resemble Marty McFly: stuck in the past. The FAR Council still has not updated the FAR to conform with the SBA’s regulations and the underlying Congressional mandate, causing considerable confusion for contractors trying to figure out which rule to follow.

Now, though, we may finally (hopefully!) be nearing the finish line for this important and long-delayed FAR change.

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