HUBZone Changes effective 10/3

The HUBZone program has been expanded to assist small businesses in disasters areas and base closure areas and provides equal treatment under the HUBZone program for small businesses owned by Native Hawaiian Organizations (NHOs).

Effective Mon 10/3/16, changes will be reflected in 13 CFR Part 126 to implement the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 (2016 NDAA) which made the following modifications to the HUBZone program:

  1. authorized NHOs to own HUBZone small business concerns;
  2. expanded the definition of “base closure area” under the HUBZone program; and
  3. authorized the inclusion of “qualified disaster areas” under the HUBZone program.

Specific information about the new HUBZone geographic designations:


  1. “Major Disaster” areas:
  • are HUBZones for a period of 5 years.
  • Applies to census tracts and nonmetropolitan counties (NMC) located in “major disaster” areas, if such census tract or NMC lost its HUBZone eligibility

Øwithin the past 5 years or

Øwill lose its HUBZone eligibility within 2 years after the major disaster.


  1. “Catastrophic Incident” areas
  • are HUBZones for a period of 10 years.
  • Applies to census tracts and NMCs located in areas where catastrophic incidents occurred, if such census tract or NMC lost its HUBZone eligibility

Øwithin the past 5 years or

Øwill lose its HUBZone eligibility within 2 years after the catastrophic incident.


  1. Base Closures Areas (BRACs)
  • HUBZone eligibility for BRACs is 8 years (up from 5) and expands HUBZone eligibility to census tracts and NMCs that
  1. contain the BRACs,
  2. intersect with the BRACs,
  3. are contiguous to the BRACs, or
  4. are contiguous to any census tract or NMC described in 1 through 3


NIST offers cyber self-assessment tool, updates email security guidance

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has long  been a national resource on cybersecurity, and its Cybersecurity Framework has been widely adopted in both government and private industry. The guidance, however, doesn’t come with many pointers to tell organizations how well they are deploying it.

Hearing the many pleas for some way of doing that, NIST has finally come out with a self-assessment tool that should give organizations a better understanding of how they are progressing with security risk management efforts. It’s asking for public comment on the current draft document.

The Baldrige Cybersecurity Excellence Builder pulls together two prized Commerce Department initiatives. The new tool incorporates elements of NIST’s Cybersecurity Framework, which was introduced in February 2014, and takes inspiration from the Baldrige Award, created in 1987 and named after the late Commerce Secretary Malcolm Baldrige.

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GSA, Dun & Bradstreet agree on wider DUNS use

Federal agencies and the public will have wider use of the data generated using the proprietary business identifier used in government procurement, the DUNS number, under a new deal between the General Services Administration and Dun & Bradstreet.

Dun & Bradstreet’s Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) has been used by the federal government as a unique and proprietary identifier for years to track spending. The GSA requires the use of a DUNS number in the Federal Acquisition Regulation, and the number is also prescribed by the Office of Federal Procurement Policy at the Office of Management and Budget.

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Congress Votes to Keep Government Open

House lawmakers late Wednesday passed a short-term continuing resolution by a vote of 342-85 that funds the government through Dec. 9. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, offered an amendment to the bill which would automatically extend the CR through Jan. 18 if lawmakers fail to agree on a subsequent deal to keep the government open after Dec. 9. The Senate passed the legislation earlier Wednesday on a vote of 72-26. The votes in both chambers avert a government shutdown just two days before the 2017 fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

Lawmakers tentatively reached the last-minute deal Tuesday night to avert a government shutdown on Saturday by agreeing to include funding to deal with the water crisis in Flint, Mich., in the 2016 Water Resources Development Act. The Flint funding, which is in the Senate version but not the House version of the waterways bill, became the major sticking point in negotiations over a continuing resolution to keep the government open past Sept. 30.

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GSA and DOE Call for Innovative Technologies to Improve Federal and Commercial Buildings

WASHINGTON — The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a joint Request for Information (RFI) this week for next-generation building technologies in support of their respective Green Proving Ground (GPG) and High Impact Technology (HIT) Catalyst programs. The RFI seeks information from industry on emerging and underutilized technologies that have the potential to improve economic and environmental performance in federal and commercial buildings.

The RFI invites technology manufacturers and industry stakeholders to submit information on emerging technologies, which will be used to identify technologies for evaluation through the GPG program, HIT Catalyst program, or both. Selected technologies will be matched with federally owned buildings or commercial buildings, respectively, to pilot measurement and verification by third-party evaluators. Project results are intended to help accelerate deployment of high impact technologies, and to inform public and private sector investment decisions.

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House Clears Bill to Strengthen Program Management

Senate-passed bill to bring private-sector performance standards to federal program management cleared the House on Thursday by voice vote.

The Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act (S. 1550), introduced by Sens. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and shepherded through the House by Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, would create new agency specialists in the discipline of program management; require the deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget to create a Program Management Policy Council; and direct agencies to appoint program management improvement officers.

The bill, which returns to the Senate for what is expected to be fine-tuning, is built around private-sector efficiency practices. It would create a formal federal job series and career path for program managers, spur development of a standards-based program management policy governmentwide, and highlight the key role of executive sponsorship by having each agency designate an official to be in charge and share best practices through the new interagency body.

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Defense R&D takes a turn toward smaller vendors

As overall Pentagon R&D spending has declined over the past decade, more research contracts are going to smaller vendors at the expense of the so-called “Big Five” military contractors, according a budget analysis released this week.

An assessment by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) of the defense industrial base found that Defense Department research spending has been declining steadily as a percentage of federal R&D contracts since its peak in fiscal 2009. Over that period, military R&D contract obligations declined from nearly half the U.S. research budget in 2009 to just 22.4 percent of last year’s $49.3 billion federal R&D budget.

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I had the pleasure of meeting Maria Contreras-Sweet, head of the US Small Business Administration and the voice of small business on the President Cabinet during her trip to Wausau yesterday.  She spent the morning meeting with city officials and downtown developers.   In the afternoon I joined the roundtable hosted by the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce – good networking and good conversation.

WPI has worked in partnership with the SBA for many years.

Wisconsin is very fortunate to have Eric Ness, WI District Director and Marianne O’Brien Markowitz, Regional Administrator advocating for Wisconsin’s small businesses.

The last scheduled event was a visit to one of WPI’s clients – Applied Fab & Machining (AFM) owned by Tim Sheridan.  Tim gave a tour to the Administrator as well as other US SBA officials and discussed his journey and success.  AMF started as a one man operation and over the last 6 years has grown to 22 employees, over $1 million in federal contracts and work with numerous Federal prime contractors.  AFM is a service disabled veteran owned business (verified federally and for the State of Wisconsin), is ISO 9001 and AS9100 certified and ITAR registered.

Tim has worked hard and is a successful supplier to the Department of Defense and other agencies. We look forward to continuing to work with Tim in his efforts to continue growing his government sales.


We are kicking off our first Pre-Marketplace workshop on Friday September 16 with the Urban League of Milwaukee.  10 sessions are scheduled across the State.  Find details at

Marketplace 2016 is scheduled for December 13-14 2016 in Milwaukee.  WPI will again be supporting the One-on-One meetings scheduled for December 14. Federal, Corporate, State and Local buyers will be joining us – we will start posting confirming attendees in October. Additional information can be found at

The Military’s Tech Matchmaker Is Getting Ready to Open Its Wallet

The Pentagon’s tech-firm matchmaker is poised to open its wallet, along with a new office in Austin, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced on Wednesday.

The Defense Innovation Unit Experimental, or DIUx, which has so far funneled $3.5 million to a handful of tech startups firms, has plans to fund another 22 projects to the tune of $65 million.

DIUx connects smallish companies of the sort that populate Silicon Valley with potential customers inside the Defense Department. For every dollar DIUx puts toward a new technology or company, a partner military branch or command contributes $3. For instance, it brokered a $1-million contract, awarded Sept. 1 by Naval Special Warfare Command, to San Diego-based Shield AI to build small, self-guiding drones.

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