By George Griffin, SBTDC/PTAC Counselor at NC A&T University
The Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC) www.aptac-us.org brings us important news of two changes to share with our readers. APTAC is the professional organization of the Procurement Technical Assistance Programs.
“SAM Will No Longer Support Internet Explorer 7 and Internet Explorer 8”
GSA has alerted us that, following their quarterly release on October 28th, they will block users from accessing SAM from an Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) or Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) browser. Users will either need to upgrade to a version of IE9 or higher, or access SAM with another supported browser type (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc). This change is pursuant to a Microsoft announcement last January that only the most current version of Internet Explorer will receive technical support and security updates.
“HUBZone Designations Expanded”
As of Monday October 3, the HUBZone program has been expanded to assist small businesses in disaster and base closure areas and provide equal treatment for small businesses owned by Native Hawaiian Organizations (NHOs). These changes, reflected in 13 CFR Part 126, implement the 2016 NDAA. More specifically:
- “Major Disaster” areas will be HUBZones for a period of 5 years and consist of census tracts and nonmetropolitan counties (NMC) located in “major disaster” areas, if such census tract or NMC lost its HUBZone eligibility within the past 5 years or will lose its eligibility within 2 years after the major disaster.
- “Catastrophic Incident” areas will be HUBZones for a period of 10 years and consist of census tracts and NMCs located in areas where catastrophic incidents occurred, if such census tract or NMC lost its HUBZone eligibility within the past 5 years or will lose its HUBZone eligibility within 2 years after the catastrophic incident.
- Base Closures Areas (BRACs) eligibility is increased from 5 years to 8 years and expanded to census tracts and NMCs that contain the BRACs, intersect with the BRACs, are contiguous to the BRACs, or are contiguous to any census tract or NMC described in 1 through 3.