Buying a small business government contractor may not be as simple as a standard acquisition. This is particularly true if the small business wants to continue to qualify for federal small business set-aside and sole-source awards during negotiations. The U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) treats stock options, convertible securities, and agreements to merge (including agreements in principle), as having a “present effect” on the power to control a concern. So if a letter of intent is sufficiently firm to be considered an agreement in principle, the SBA’s regulations require such agreements be given “present effect” on the power to control a concern – deeming the two entities are immediately affiliated. In other words, the small business likely is no longer small (and, if it is a specialty small business concern, like woman-owned or service-disabled veteran-owned, it is likely ineligible for those programs as well) before the deal even is done. On the other hand, agreements to open or continue negotiations towards the “possibility of a merger or a sale of stock at some later date” are not considered agreements in principle, and are not given present effect. In practice what this means is that a letter of intent must be carefully drafted to ensure that it does not trigger the present effect rule before the parties are ready or willing to be considered affiliated.Continue Reading Buying or Selling a Small Business Government Contractor? Draft the Letter of Intent Carefully to Avoid Immediate Affiliation

On January 6, 2020, the SBA published its 26th Interim Final Rule (the First Draw PPP IFR) and 27th Interim Final Rule (the Second Draw PPP IFR)[1] with respect to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), as reauthorized and modified under Title III (cited as the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act (the Economic Aid Act)) of Division N of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.  The PPP was originally enacted under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (as amended, supplemented or otherwise modified from time to time prior to the enactment of the Economic Aid Act, including by the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, applicable federal regulations and interpretive guidance issued by the SBA and Treasury, the CARES Act).
Continue Reading Paycheck Protection Program: SBA Issues Guidance on First Draw and Second Draw PPP Loans and Releases PPP Applications Pursuant to the Economic Aid Act

Among the various bills that were amalgamated in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the omnibus appropriations and stimulus funding bill that was signed into law on December 27, 2020) was a modified version of the Save Our Stages Act (the “SOS Act”), a bill first introduced into the Senate by Sen. John Cornyn (TX) on July 22, 2020. The SOS Act can be found in Section 324 of the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Business, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, which act comprises Title III of Division N of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.  The SOS Act establishes a new grant program (the “SOS Program”, also known as the “grant program for shuttered venue operators”) to be administered by the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) to aid certain financially distressed venue operators, event promoters or producers, and talent representatives.
Continue Reading The Save Our Stages Act – Time for Eligible Businesses to Get Ready for Their Audition (Part 1 of 2)

[Update: This article has been updated since its initial publication on December 31, 2020.]

On December 27, 2020, President Donald Trump signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act), an omnibus statute that is comprised of, among other laws, twelve fiscal year 2021 appropriations bills for the federal government and an economic aid package to assist business concerns that continue to face hardships due to the COIVD-19 pandemic.  Title III of the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which is cited as the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act (the Act), among other matters, reauthorizes and modifies the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan program (EIDL), as enacted under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (as amended, supplemented or otherwise modified from time to time prior to the enactment of the Act, including the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, applicable federal regulations and interpretive guidance issued by the SBA and Treasury (the CARES Act)).
Continue Reading UPDATED: The Reauthorization and Revival of the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program under the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act

On October 2, 2020, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) released a Procedural Notice providing guidance addressed to Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) lenders and SBA employees as to the circumstances under which prior SBA approval is required before a borrower of a PPP loan undergoes a change of ownership.[1]  In particular, the October 2, 2020 Procedural Notice includes instructions to PPP lenders on how they may address equity or asset M&A transactions, ownership restructurings, or transfers of ownership interests involving their PPP borrowers.  Importantly, the October 2, 2020 Procedural Notice does not clearly address the circumstance of a change of ownership of a PPP borrower resulting from the issuance of additional ownership interests in the PPP borrower.[2]
Continue Reading The October 2, 2020 SBA Procedural Notice: Change of Ownership Transactions Involving PPP Borrowers