GAO: Agency Has Discretion on Type of Socioeconomic Set-Aside for Procurement

From a recent GAO decision it appears that the ends can, in fact, justify the means; at least when it comes procurement set-asides for HUBZone companies. The decision is Foxhole Technology, Inc. B-419577 (May 12, 2021). In this matter, Foxhole Technology, Inc., a service-disabled veteran-owned small business, protested the Department of Education’s decision to set aside an RFQ to supply cybersecurity services for HUBZone businesses. In its protest, Foxhole argued that the agency’s decision to set aside the procurement for HUBZone small business concerns was based on inadequate market research and was therefore not justified. GAO denied the protest.

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Event: Understanding & Obtaining HUBZone Certification – Update 2021

Live Govology Webinar: April 8, 2021, 1:00-2:30pm EDT Instructors: Steven Koprince & Shane McCall

In late 2019, the SBA issued a final rule, making several changes to the HUBZone program. Join us as we discuss these changes as well as SBA’s related guidance and provide an overview of the HUBZone program’s requirements, including:

  • Ownership, control, and other HUBZone eligibility criteria.
  • Benefits: HUBZone set-asides, sole-source contracts, and price preference.
  • The principal office rule and why it may not be your headquarters.
  • The 35% employee rule and the “attempt to maintain” standard.
  • Who qualifies as an employee and what happens if they move.
  • The clear line of fracture standard.
  • Annual certification.
  • Program examinations.
  • Maintaining compliance in a changing landscape.

If you’re a HUBZone concern trying to navigate these uncharted waters or have thought about obtaining HUBZone certification in the future, this webinar is for you. Register here.

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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SBA Issues Guidance on New HUBZone Rules

Can a business seeking HUBZone status give employees bonuses or higher wages to entice them to live in a HUBZone?

According to new guidance published by the U.S. Small Business Administration, yes. But that’s not the only question addressed in the guidance.

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The Basics: Socioeconomic Sole Source Awards

Just last week during a Govology webinar on Women-Owned Small Businesses, one of the attendees asked an insightful question about the different standards for giving sole source awards to participants in various government programs. She wanted to know the difference between how contracting officers go about offering an 8(a) sole source award and a WOSB sole source award.

So, let’s take a look, shall we?

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New HUBZone Rules Kick In December 26

SBA proposed a major revamp of how it will interpret and enforce the HUBZone program’s rules back in October of 2019. We wrote about the major changes in a couple of posts (here and here) as well as some of the common misconceptions that SBA cleared up as part of the proposed rule.

Well, the wait is over. SBA will release the final rule November 26 and the new rules will become effective on December 26, 2019.

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