SBA Inspector General Questions Legality of Relaxed HUBZone Residency Rule

Last December, SBA overhauled its HUBZone Program rules in an effort to make it easier for companies to obtain and maintain HUBZone certification–and to help the Government stop falling so woefully short of the three percent HUBZone prime contracting goal.

But now, in a new report, SBA’s internal watchdog is questioning whether one of those HUBZone Program changes went too far.

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Event: Small Business Contracting Update & 2021 Preview

Fiscal Year 2020 is officially in the books. For small businesses in government contracting, it was a year of major changes–and many more changes are on their way in FY 2021.

On November 18, please join me (virtually) for “Small Business Contracting Update & 2021 Predictions,” sponsored by the National Contract Management Association, Boston Chapter. I’ll cover the biggest changes in FY 2020, from the HUBZone Program overhaul to WOSB certification to increases in the 8(a) Program economic thresholds. Then I’ll dust off my crystal ball and predict what’s on the way in FY 2021, including the long-awaited changes to the limitations on subcontracting and a revamping of the rules governing debriefings.

It’s easy to register: just click here. I hope to see you for this great pre-Thanksgiving event!

Inspector General: SBA’s Certify.SBA.gov Platform “Has Not Accomplished Its Objectives”

The SBA’s “Certify” website, certify.SBA.gov, has fallen far short of meeting its objectives, according to an eye-opening report from the SBA’s Office of Inspector General.

The OIG concludes that, despite an investment of $30 million, Certify “does not have many of the essential search, analytical, and reporting tools it was supposed to have.” Additionally, Certify’s lack of functionality has forced SBA employees to use time-consuming workarounds, causing delays in screening and approving applications, among other things.

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SBA Issues 2019 Small Business Scorecard, Small Business Contracting Over $130 Billion!

The SBA’s FY2019 Small Business Procurement Scorecard came out recently and revealed some interesting trends in the dollars and cents of small business contracting. While there are a lot of positives for small businesses, not all the numbers are great. Read on for the details!

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SBA Provides Flexibility for HUBZone Compliance

We’ve written quite a few posts about how contractors can adapt and deal with the changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some small businesses federal contractors, however, face unique challenges. This is particularly true of participants in the HUBZone Program. Specifically, while the OMB has encouraged agencies to allow contractor employees to telework, how will this affect HUBZone entities, where the location of their employees is key to maintaining their HUBZone status?

Well, the SBA has the answer in some recent guidance, and it’s something we could all probably do with a little more of–flexibility. Flexibility, in this case, means that SBA realizes complying with the principal office and employee residency requirements may be tough during a time when all people are encouraged to telework. The flexibility applies to a few of the HUBZone rules.

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Why Are There Two HUBZone Maps on the Internet?

If you were to fire up the ol’ Google and search for the phrase “hubzone map” guess what you would get—not one but two links that purport to be the Small Business Administration’s Historically Underutilized Business Development Zone (HUBZone) program map.

Is there any indication which is the correct map? No. Might one return false results? Yes.

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