Small Business Regulations and Programs

I recently authored an article for Law360 offering perspective on a proposed rule announced by the Small Business Administration (SBA) on July 6. The new rule will establish a government-wide certification process for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (VOSBs) and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs) to be eligible for the federal contract set-aside programs, which were established in a 2004 executive order by President George W. Bush to increase participation of these groups in government contracting.
Continue Reading Challenges of New SBA Proposal for Veteran-Owned Small Business Government Contractors

The Department of Defense’s (DOD) Mentor-Protégé program (MPP) was designed to strengthen the capabilities of small businesses, increase their participation in the DOD contract pool, and contribute to “the diversity and vitality of the U.S. Defense Industrial Base (DIB).” Like the Small Business Administration’s MPP, the program pairs small businesses with larger contractors to develop mutually beneficial relationships. Established on November 5, 1990, the DOD’s MPP has been consistently reauthorized over the last 30 years, but only as a pilot. That could quickly change, as new recommendations from the Defense Business Board (DBB) seek to bring permanency and increase participation, understanding, and oversight.
Continue Reading DOD’s Mentor-Protégé Program May Be Getting a Facelift

On July 6, the SBA issued a proposed rule that would implement Section 862 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 establishing a government-wide certification process for Veteran Owned Small Businesses (VOSBs) and Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs).
Continue Reading New Certification Process for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses

As a general matter, an agency should reject a bid out of hand if it is deemed defective due to problems with bidder responsiveness.  However, flawed bids determined on account of issues with bidder responsibility can be supplemented with the requested information any time before award. On May 18, the GAO wrangled with that critical difference in operative language, finding in favor of a bidder who successfully demonstrated the requested information dealt with a question of responsibility, rather than one of responsiveness, in J.E. McAmis, Inc., B-420518; B-420518.2.
Continue Reading Responsibility vs. Responsiveness: A Critical Difference Saves Flawed Initial Bid

On June 6, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) issued a final rule modifying its methodology for calculating the size of small businesses using an employee-based size standard and authorizes businesses participating in its Business Loan, Disaster Loan, Surety Bond, and Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) programs to choose whether to use a three-year or five-year receipts average when determining eligibility. The final rule becomes effective on July 6, 2022.
Continue Reading SBA Enlarges Small Business Pool through New Rule Change

Numet Machining Techniques, a Connecticut-based machined parts manufacturer for commercial and military aerospace engines, recently agreed to pay $5.2 million to settle alleged violations of the False Claims Act (FCA) for misrepresenting its size standard following an acquisition.
Continue Reading Buyer Beware: Settling FCA Allegations Costs Manufacturer $5.2 Million

A key benefit of Small Business Administration’s (SBA) All Small Mentor Protégé Program (ASMPP) is the opportunity for mentors and protégés to form joint ventures to bid together on prime and subcontracts as a small business. As the number of MPP relationships has grown, so too has the use of the ASMPP joint ventures (JV) to pursue opportunities previously out of reach for both parties. Hear from a panel of experts on best practices in JV formation, structuring, and growing the MPP relationship.

Please join Bass, Berry & Sims attorneys Todd Overman (moderator) and Sylvia Yi, joined by Steven Williams (Deloitte) and Ken Dodds (Live Oak Bank), for a webinar on June 28 at 1:00 p.m. ET / 12:00 p.m. CT, as they discuss these opportunities and much more. Click here to register.Continue Reading [WEBINAR] SBA ASMPP Joint Ventures: Best Practices for Successful Partnerships

In a May 4 article published by American City Business Journals’ The Playbook, I offered insight on the opportunities for small businesses to engage with federal contracting and practical steps to get started.

The federal government spent more than $665 billion on contracts in FY2020, and a variety of special programs for contracts are designed to meet the goal of spending at least 23% of all contracting dollars with small business owners.Continue Reading Opportunities for Small Business within Federal Contracting Space

With a contracting budget approaching $650 billion per year, the United States government is the largest consumer of goods and services globally. In 2020, the federal government spent $145 billion, an equivalent of 26% of its total procurement spending, with small businesses. Breaking into government contracting can be a tremendous opportunity for small and emerging

In the past, we have cautioned readers about the potential impact of transactions on pending awards, particularly on the ability of a contractor to protest.  A recent decision from the Court of Federal Claims (COFC) shows that transactions during a protest may also pose risks to a contractor’s standing.

On September 9, COFC dismissed a protest filed by Lank Shark Shredding LLC after Land Shark sold assets after the protest had been filed.  Land Shark had filed a May 2019 complaint challenging the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) cancellation of a service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) set-aside contract for shredding services.  The solicitation had been canceled because only Land Shark had submitted a timely proposal and the VA determined that Land Shark’s proposal suffered from pricing and technical defects.

Background: Company Sold Assets After Protest Was Filed

During oral argument in June 2021, it was revealed for the first time that Land Shark had sold “its name, assets, and business interest, and that these transactions raised questions regarding whether the case caption should be amended to reflect Land Shark’s new name, Disabled Veterans Security, LLC, … and whether any entity had standing to bring this case.”Continue Reading Selling Assets During a Protest?  Careful You Don’t Jump the Shark