On April 30th, Howard County government contractors and service providers attended GovConnects’ Monthly Business Breakfast Series: “The Current Landscape at Fort Meade for Small Business” at UMUC in Elkridge, Md. for a morning that combined important information with valuable networking opportunities.
Aronson LLC partner Mike Muscatello introduced the first keynote speaker, Colonel Rothstein, Garrison Commander at Ft. Meade. The Colonel spoke about the Ft. Meade community and the importance of the partnership with local businesses. He talked to attendees about the ways in which corporate innovation is playing an important role at “Team Meade,” the third largest military installation in the country. Continue reading »
A recent Virginia sales and use tax ruling illustrates how ignoring basic sales and use principles can be costly for businesses. The concept is simple – a sales tax is a consumption tax imposed on the end user of a product. Thus, if your company purchases tangible personal property with the intent of reselling the property (i.e., not consuming it), it generally should not pay sales tax on that purchase. This concept holds true for leases as well. However, a purchaser must notify a seller of this intent by providing a certificate to the seller indicating that the purchased product will be resold. Otherwise, the seller is obligated to collect sales tax.
The failure to apply this foundational sales and use tax concept had a costly result for Continue reading »
Employee Incentive Compensation: Powerful but Underutilized Tools for Navigating the Challenging Times Ahead: May 15, 8:00 – 10:00 am
Attracting and retaining key employees is a challenge every business faces, and government contractors know that a valuable contract can hinge on making the right staffing choices. Savvy government contractors also recognize the necessity to maximize human capital within the constraints of sequestration, continuing resolution and lowest price technically acceptable contracts. You’re invited to this breakfast workshop to learn about powerful employee incentive compensation strategies that can provide significant competitive advantages for your business. Continue reading »
On Sunday, April 21, 2013, the Annapolis chapter of the Maryland Saltwater Sports Fishermen’s Association (MSSA) welcomed over 50 warriors from Walter Reed Army Hospital and Ft. Belvoir to the Annapolis City Dock for the annual Rock-On Warriors event. The event gives wounded warriors an opportunity to experience a great day of trophy rockfishing on the Chesapeake Bay in a demonstration of appreciation for their service and sacrifice. Aronson LLC partner Mike Muscatello and his father, Larry Muscatello captained one of the twelve participating boats for the annual event, which is now in its fourth year. Continue reading »
The Government contractor compensation caps topic is making an appearence again. In a previous blog posted on June 29, 2012, we noted the Senate attempting to cap defense contractor compensation to the level of the Vice President’s salary. That attempt by the Senate did not survive committee. President Obama’s fiscal year 2014 budget, dated April 10, 2013, again puts contractor compensation in the Government’s crosshairs.
In the President’s budget discussion on ”Cutting Waste Wherever We Find It” contractor compensation is at the forefront, and it affects Continue reading »
Federal courts have consistently ruled that retailers must have a physical presence in a state to be required to collect sales taxes. That has allowed online retailers to offer many customers tax-free shopping. Equally important, the physical presence requirement has allowed smaller businesses using common carriers to expand their customer base without the administrative burden of collecting sales tax. But, with Congress making headway on federal legislation that would eliminate the physical presence rule for many retailers and a recent New York State Court of Appeals decision going against Amazon and Overstock.com, the sales tax collection obligations for retailers may soon become more burdensome.
On March 19th, 75 U.S. Senators supported a non-binding vote of approval for the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013, a heavily-debated bill that is backed by a coalition of brick-and-mortar retailers such as Wal-Mart and Best Buy and vehemently opposed by certain online retailers such as eBay. Although the vote was only a preliminary approval of a vague summary of the bill that was an amendment to a budget bill, the bipartisan nature of the vote suggests that remote seller legislation could be voted into law this year.
If enacted as is, the bill would allow states to require remote sellers with over Continue reading »
The small business set-aside designations are being removed from GSA Schedule 541, Advertising and Integrated Marketing Solutions (AIMS). The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) now authorizes agencies to set aside procurements for small businesses at the task order level of a Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contract.
This change will affect contractors that hold Special Item Numbers (SINs): Continue reading »
The Obama Administration’s recently released fiscal year 2014 budget contains several provisions that are less than advantageous as they relate to retirement plans. These provisions are by no means final, however, as Congress has yet to work its way through them.
The proposed budget contains two specific provisions that would greatly reduce the attractiveness of retirement plans to small businesses: Continue reading »
May 17, 2013 – 7:30am – 3:00pm, at The Universities At Shady Grove, 9630 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville, MD 20850
The 2013 Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce GovConNet Procurement Conference attracts businesses ready to do business with federal, state & local governments, prime contractors and each other. Secure six months worth of business in one day!
The conference BREAKOUT SESSIONS provide businesses with access to experts and information about procurement opportunities and best business practices.
UPDATE (5/3/13): One important point I failed to mention is that on OASIS SB, GSA intends to award at least three spots in every pool to the following socioeconomic groups-8(a), SDVOSB, HUBZone, WOSB, and EDWOSB. This does not mean that only 25 of the 40 spots in a pool are available for other small businesses, though. The top 40 evaluation will proceed “blind” to socioeconomic status. If there are not at least three representatives from a particular socioeconomic group in the top 40 for a given pool, additional awards will be made to the next highest rated qualified bidder(s) in that group until there are three.
Welcome to the first post in a special series about the GSA OASIS draft RFP. First a disclaimer – all posts are based on information obtained from the OASIS draft RFP and the most current Q&A available on the OASIS Industry Community on GSA Interact. Changes are certain to occur between the draft solicitation and the final; Aronson will identify major known changes as soon as we are aware of them. Please subscribe to our RSS feed to follow this series and to make sure that you receive breaking information as it happens!
Today’s post will discuss the use of NAICS code ‘pools’ to determine a contractor’s size status and eligibility to bid on OASIS SB. Initially, GSA had intended to base the size standard for OASIS SB on a single NAICS code (541330 exception, $35.5M) based on market research concerning the preponderance of work likely to be awarded under the vehicle; however, a recent rule proposed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) caused them to change this approach. Due to the provisions of Section 1331 of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 and concerns about the improper allocation of small business credit under multiple-award contracts, the SBA plans to make significant changes to the FAR. Under the proposed rule, “the contracting officer may divide a multiple award contract for divergent goods and services into discrete categories, each of which is assigned a NAICS code with a corresponding size standard.”
In order to accommodate the probable rule change, GSA Continue reading »
What We Are Writing
- A Marriage of Inconvenience: GSA Schedule Contracts & The Contractor Code of Business Ethics & Conduct Clause
- Emerging Small Businesses: To Grow Your Business, You Must Plan For Growth
- Government Contracting: Look Before You Leap!
- GSA Schedules – Strategies for Success
- New Employee vs. Independent Contractor Considerations
- Pay on Display – Understanding the Executive Compensation and Subcontractor Data Reporting Requirements & Ramifications
- The GSA Schedule: Your Ticket to the Federal Market (May 2010)
- The New FAR Codes of Conduct and Compliance Program Provisions
- The Seven Deadly Sins (of contract compliance)