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Mission and Installation Contracting Command (MICC) Advance Planning Briefing for Industry (APBI) 2024

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A message from our friends at the US Army Mission Installation Contracting Command for distribution to APEX Accelerator clients:

Check out the recordings of the Mission and Installation Contracting Command (MICC) Advance Planning Briefing for Industry (APBI), highlighting forecasted contract requirements supporting many of the Army’s major commands and installations throughout the continental United States. Learn about potential contract opportunities with the Army:

  • APBI Day 1, April 22, 2024: video
  • APBI Day 2, April 23, 2024: video
  • APBI Day 3, April 24, 2024: video
  • APBI Day 4, April 25, 2024: video

Those who registered for the APBI will receive all accompanying slide presentations by the end of May. For those unable to register, slides have been posted to SAM.gov at https://sam.gov/opp/a6957ff1a15e4637b3494c087511a6f6/view under the attachments link, and any updates will be added by the end of May. Thank you again for your continued support of our organization’s small business efforts.

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Schedule a Meeting with Your Counselor

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Procurement Counselors are passionate about helping clients navigate the complexities of government contracting but find a good chunk of their counseling sessions are lost opportunities to help clients due to avoidable technology challenges. Counselor’s schedules are often booked 30-60 days in advance and, like any professional service provider, it is important that the limited time you have with your counselor is productive. In that spirit, we ask that clients be prepared to attend their meetings by taking some basic precautions to avoid rescheduling. This list will help you prepare, even if many items seem obvious. We know your time is valuable, we want to make the most of every minute you spend with your assigned counselor.

  • Email your Counselor to request an appointment time. Are you an existing client and don’t know who your counselor is? Login to the home page of your client login (https://virginiaptac.ecenterdirect.com/) to find their name and email address.
  • Attend your virtual meeting on a personal computer and NOT a mobile device. If in person, bring your laptop and charger with you so to navigate the appropriate website/portals. Attempting to attend a counseling session by phone only or from a vehicle will result in wasted time and a rescheduled meeting and may be considered a no-show. Review counseling policies here: https://VirginiaAPEX.org/services/counseling/counseling-policies/
  • Update your Zoom or MS Teams software and be ready to join at the time of your meeting.
  • Understand how to share your screen on the chosen meeting platform and practice how to do it in advance if you have not used that platform before.
  • Choose a quiet location so you can focus on the meeting with your counselor.
  • Strong internet is essential so your screen-share and audio quality are not impacted.
  • Gather your passwords and be able to login to the websites in question based on your counselor’s advance guidance (SAM.gov (login.gov), eVA login, or other system).
  • Gather documents (your counselor will advise you which ones to have ready) and have them in PDF form on your computer for easy access/upload. Some examples of common documents you may need include:
    • Operating Agreement, Articles of Organization from the SCC
    • Bylaws, Stock Certificate, Stock Ledger
    • Bank account and routing numbers for SAM.gov and connect.sba.gov entry
    • Additional documents vary depending on the certification
  • Review the Before You Start guide here: https://VirginiaAPEX.org/beforeyoustart/

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ATTENTION: All Previously Certified 8(a) Firms

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Please be aware with the recent lower court ruling and resulting interim guidance issued by SBA regarding the 8(a) Business Development Program, it may be necessary to write a Social Disadvantage Narrative to respond to 8(a) Set-Aside Solicitations or receive a Sole Source award. You may need to provide this narrative to the Contracting Officer to be approved by the SBA before the award can be finalized. This appears to include upcoming option year modifications.

Please take advantage of this new resource guide provided by the SBA that firms can use when writing the social disadvantage narrative: https://sbaone.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/CHDB/pages/2768076819/Guide+for+Writing+a+Social+Disadvantage+Narrative

Register for our next live webinar on the topic of SBA’s 8(a) Certification Application Process on October 2nd: https://virginiaptac.ecenterdirect.com/events/4044 and follow us on LinkedIn to stay in the loop.

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DoD Seeking Public Comment on Timeliness of Payments to Defense Subcontractors

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DoD is seeking public input on improving the timeliness of payments to defense subcontractors. The request for feedback published Friday July 14 in the Federal Register and stems from the Defense Contract Finance Study, which found that defense subcontractors and suppliers generally do not receive favorable cash flow benefits as consistently or to the same extent enjoyed by defense prime contractors. Input on this matter is solicited from interested parties, including current prime contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, or vendors, and potential new entrants. This is a great opportunity for small businesses in particular to have their voice heard.

Interested parties are encouraged to submit their comments within 60 days (by September 12) via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at https://www.regulations.gov/docket/DARS-2022-0012/document

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Introducing HIVE HUB: The 24/7 Industry Day for PEO DHMS

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The Program Executive Office, Defense Healthcare Management Systems (PEO DHMS) and the Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization (FEHRM) office have partnered to create the Health Innovation Vision Exchange (HIVE) as a space to promote innovation in the federal health space.

With the HIVE, PEO DHMS’s primary goal is to foster collaboration and introduce state-of-the-art healthcare solutions to the Federal marketplace. Serving as a centralized platform, HIVE HUB facilitates the cross-pollination of ideas between contractors and Federal agencies, creating an ecosystem that thrives on innovation and ingenuity. This real-time communication platform ensures that businesses have the opportunity to communicate directly with the government, and to join in the conversation themselves.

Help build a thriving community together at the forefront of healthcare innovation! Anyone can join by registering at https://connect.bidscale.com/register to create a free account. That’s all it takes to stay updated with the latest news, explore real contracting opportunities, discover upcoming events, communicate with federal health contracting officers, and gain valuable insights not available elsewhere.

Read the open letter to resource partners making us aware of this effort and encouraging APEX Accelerator clients interested in DHMS to register.

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New HUBZone Map Effective July 2023

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The Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) Program run by the Small Business Administration (SBA) has an updated Map based on the most recent census data to ensure the program continues to serve the communities that are most in need of assistance. The new map is effective July 1, 2023. More information about these changes can be accessed here: https://maps.certify.sba.gov/hubzone/map/help

Changes you need to know: https://www.sba.gov/brand/assets/sba/resource-partners/HUBZone-MapChanges-Flyer-508.pdf

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SBA Now Allows Capabilities Statement in DSBS

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SBA launched a new feature in the Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) tool that allows you to link your capabilities statement to help market your business to agencies.

This new field is now available in DSBS allowing small businesses to add a URL for their Capabilities Statements.

For 8(a) small businesses who have already uploaded a Capabilities Statement on Certify.SBA.gov as of 6/22/2023, the field will already be populated with the Capabilities Statement URL. For all other small businesses, add a Capabilities Statement Link by visiting the DSBS profile (also known as “Pronet supplemental pages”) to add a link.

Instructions on logging into the DSBS profile through SBA Connect and adding a Capabilities Statement Link are found here: https://sbaone.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/DSBS/pages/2742910980/Add+a+Capabilities+Statement+Link

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Annual Update Requirement for WOSB Repealed

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We received word that a message was distributed to WOSB firms – please check out the message and link below:

Dear Valued WOSBS,

Please note that the annual update requirement for approved WOSB firms has been repealed. Since May of 2022, the annual update has been in abeyance; it has now been removed entirely from the regulation. You will still need to recertify with the WOSB program every three years. No further action is needed at this time. Please see more information about the removal of the annual update requirement by visiting our Knowledge Base: Repeal of Annual Update Requirement for Approved WOSB Firms  · WOSB.Certify.sba.gov.

Thank you for your continued participation in our program.

Best,
The WOSB Team

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Tik Tok Ban – Small Businesses Not Exempt

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The new interim contracting rule: federalregister.gov/d/2023-11756 applies to devices regardless of whether they are owned by the government, the contractor, or the contractor’s employees, including phones used as part of a “bring your own device” program. It does not apply to a personally-owned phone that is not used in the performance of a contract.

Read more on the Federal Register here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2023/06/02/2023-11756/federal-acquisition-regulation-prohibition-on-a-bytedance-covered-application

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SAM.gov problems as of 3/8/2023 Generating Bad Emails with “Someone updated the entity registration” Message

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Please note that many clients of Virginia APEX Accelerator are receiving messages from donotreply@sam.gov with the message that their SAM.gov entity registration was updated when no such update occurred.

A review of the current outages on the Federal Service Desk website reveals there is a SAM.gov outage AND that the cause of these emails are being investigated. The latest message on 3/8/2023 referenced “We believe the matter is related to a software issue” but we recommend checking for updates on the SAM.gov alerts page linked below.

Please do not click any links in those emails at this time and monitor the FSD.gov website for more information:

*As a friendly reminder, Virginia APEX Accelerator, an APEX Accelerator, is not connected to SAM.gov and is a separate resource provider. We help our clients navigate SAM.gov but do not have any control or access to the backend of the system.

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