• 03/09/2021 4:45 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    The slate of ACRA's 2021 continuing education opportunities specifically tailored to CRM professionals is now available!

    This year's webinar schedule has been carefully crafted with ACRA members in mind. Some sessions focus specifically on meeting the federal requirements on which our industry is based, such as Section 110(k) and Section 106: Responding to Anticipatory Demolition Concerns on June 10.

    Others are meant to help your firm run more efficiently (i.e. A Digital Marketing Primer on April 8) or address long-standing issues in the CRM industry (such as Reframing Public Outreach: Addressing Historically Underrepresented Communities in CRM on July 22).

    Check out our full slate of sessions for 2021 below, and remember that ACRA members always receive a reduced rate. All member firms also enjoy the firm-wide registration benefit - once one firm employee pays for a spot, all other employees can attend for no additional cost.

    Space is limited, so make sure to reserve your spot in your preferred sessions today!

     April 8 A Digital Marketing Primer  Register
     May 13 Radiocarbon Dating Basics  Register
     June 10 Section 110(k) and Section 106: Responding to Anticipatory Demolition Concerns  Register
     July 22 Reframing Public Outreach: Addressing Historically Underrepresented Communities in CRM  Register
     August 12

    Technical Editing for CRM

     Register
     October 14 Storytelling in CRM: Moving Beyond Producing Gray Literature  Register
    December 9 Documentation and e106  Register


  • 03/04/2021 3:03 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been a helpful tool for many CRM firms during the pandemic. With most classified as essential businesses, the program provided opportunities for firms to continue to operate despite increasing costs and uncertainty.

    ACRA has been helping CRM firms navigate the ever-changing PPP as new rules have been issued by the Small Business Administration (SBA), from outlining specifics of the program to addressing problems with the PPP and overhead with congressional offices. Now new rules have been published on Wednesday that particularly affect firms that identify as sole proprietors or independent contractors - particularly if they have already received a PPP loan in the past.

    From Politico:

    New Biden administration rules overhauling the way small business loans are doled out will potentially leave thousands of sole proprietorships and the self-employed on the sidelines, despite the president's pledge to give them better access to pandemic aid.

    The Small Business Administration quietly decided that the benefits that President Joe Biden promised to "one-person businesses" won't be available to many of those who have already received aid from the program. The agency concedes those businesses were shortchanged under earlier rules — some received as little as $1 because of the way loans were calculated — but says it isn't able to let PPP borrowers increase existing loans. That means the more favorable new rules will only be available to new loan applicants.

    The decision is drawing criticism from Democrats and business owners as well as PPP lenders responsible for doling out the loans. But the SBA is not relenting, and now top Democrats on the House and Senate Small Business committees say they want to make the benefits more widely available.

    Read the full Politico article here for additional insights. ACRA will continue to monitor and engage on the issues that are most important to CRM firms, including this one. If your business is affected by these new rules, let us know.

    The new SBA rules are available here

  • 03/03/2021 9:30 AM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    From the SBA:

    The U.S. Small Business Administration has some key changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) which will be available for a limited amount of time to ensure America’s smallest businesses get exclusive access. If you are a small business owner with fewer than 20 employees, or are self-employed; there is new information for you. Please join us for a series of webinars hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Public Private Strategies Institute, & other stakeholders to hear about:

    • What steps you can take now to take advantage of this special opportunity, which closes at 5:00 P.M. EST, Tuesday, March 9th, 2021
    • Additional changes and recent policy announcements made by the Biden-Harris Administration
    • Have your questions answered by SBA Leadership

    Schedule

    Mar. 3, 12:30 p.m. ET, Women Business Owners, Click here to register.

    Mar. 4, 3:00 p.m. ET, Asian-American + Pacific Islander, Native American + Tribal Small Business Owners; Click here to register.

    Mar. 5, 1:00 p.m. ET, Black + African-American Small Business Owners, Click here to register.

    Mar. 5, 3:00 p.m. ET, Hispanic Small Business Owners, Click here to register.

    Mar. 6, 2:00 p.m. ET, Veterans, Self-Employed Business Owners, Click here to register.

    Mar. 8, 3:00 p.m. ET, LGTBQ Business Owners, Youth Entrepreneurs, Restaurant Owners, Click here to register.

    Cosponsorship Authorization # 21-0501-14: The SBA’s participation in this cosponsored activity is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of any cosponsor or other person or entity. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least 24 hours in advance of this event; please contact Judette Crosbie at Judette.Crosbie@sba.gov with subject header ACCOMMODATION REQUEST.


  • 03/01/2021 1:48 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team


    Your Congress in Action is a series that highlights the Capitol Hill news that affects CRM firms the most. Be sure to subscribe to the ACRAsphere to ensure you don't miss an update.

    As President Biden enters his second full month in office, his vow to work with both parties is running headlong into the reality that Capitol Hill continues to beset by bitter partisanship. And while he is showing some early success in advancing his policy agenda, tensions between the parties may make progress more difficult in the months to come.

    On the legislative front, Biden is on his way to getting his first major bill signed into law – albeit without the support of Republicans. On Friday, the House voted 219-212 along mostly party lines to pass a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package that includes an increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, $1,400 direct checks for Americans making $75,000 or less a year, an extension of $400 federal unemployment benefits, additional help for small businesses and funding for state and local governments. The bill now goes to the Senate, where a vote may come as early as this week. However, the minimum wage increase was dealt a severe blow when the Senate Parliamentarian ruled that the provision violated budget rules. This effectively means that Democrats would need to gain the support of at least 10 Republicans to get a minimum wage increase beyond a filibuster.

    Once that package is done, President Biden and Congressional Democrats hope to move to their next big item: infrastructure. During the campaign, Biden proposed a $2 trillion investment in repairing roads, bridges and water systems. Although Biden has said he wants a bipartisan bill, it is far from certain that Senate Republicans will support a package of that size. Democrats may decide to pass the bill without GOP support, like the COVID package. But doing so would likely inflame tensions between the parties even further, making progress on a host of other issues – from health care to immigration – even more difficult.

    Meanwhile, partisan fighting has impeded process on confirming Biden’s cabinet. The Senate is moving far more slowly on confirming the 46th President’s nominees than it did for his predecessors, making it hard for federal agencies to get up and running. And at least one of Biden’s choices – Office of Management and Budget Director Neera Tanden – is facing defeat due to past comments she made about Republican lawmakers.

    That said, last week saw Biden’s pick for Interior Secretary move a step closer to conformation. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held two days of confirmation hearings for Interior Secretary-designate Deb Haaland. Following the hearing, Committee Chair Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced he would support her nomination despite his reservations over her views on fossil fuels, which means she is almost certainly going to be confirmed, even if few or no Republicans support her. Once Haaland is confirmed, she had a lengthy do-to list, including addressing the previous administrations effort to undermine NEPA as well as their last-minute move to alter Sec 106 regulations.

    The partisan tensions come as the country continues to struggle with the pandemic and resulting economic fallout. Although additional money for small businesses in the COVID relief bill will help, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has had some unintended consequences, especially for small firms.

    One example, which a number of ACRA members have raised, is about how taking PPP loans affects how much firms can be paid on federal government contracts. The Defense Department has interpreted a provision in federal procurement rules to mean that PPP recipients whose loans are forgiven must credit the value of the loan back to the government when they contract with federal agencies. This could force many small firms to choose between accepting PPP loans and seeking government contracts.

    As ACRA has expressed to Capitol Hill, “At a time when millions of small businesses are struggling to make payroll and keep employees on the job, the requirement to credit forgiving PPP loans back to the government will not only create a disincentive for businesses to seek government contracts, which will deprive many agencies of talent and even slow down projects; it will also disproportionately impact minority- and women-owned firms.”

    ACRA and other industry organizations are working to educate lawmakers about the issue and seek a solution. While this is the kind of issue that doesn’t make it to the front pages, it’s just one example of how federal policies impact CRM firms, and how ACRA advocates for member firms when issues come to their attention.

    It also shows why ACRA member firms need to need to engage with their elected representatives. After all, no matter how partisan Washington gets, Democratic and Republicans elected officials alike listen to their constituents.


  • 02/26/2021 2:58 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    ACRA is a co-sponsor for the upcoming 8th National Forum on Historic Preservation Policy. Held virtually on April 16 and 17, attendance is limited to 130 people. Register today to be a part of this important discussion of Preservation and the 21st-century American city here.

    Unique among professional and academic conferences, fully half of each of the four sessions will be devoted to discussion among presenters and audience. To facilitate this, attendance will be limited to 130 registrants and each will receive an electronic copy of all papers several weeks in advance of the Forum.

    A final copy of the agenda is available here.

  • 02/25/2021 4:37 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    Join the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in honoring outstanding historic preservation efforts combined with affordable housing and community revitalization successes. The ACHP/HUD Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation was created to encourage agencies, developers, and organizations to nominate projects or activities that advance the goals of historic preservation while providing affordable housing and/or expanded economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income families and individuals.

    Projects or activities must have been completed or have made substantial achievements within the last three years and have done the following:

    • Promoted the use of historic buildings for affordable housing, community development, and/or expanded economic opportunities
    • Included HUD funds or financing
    • Met preservation guidelines
    • Contributed to local community revitalization efforts

    Nominations for the 2021 cycle are due by 11:59 p.m. PST on April 16, 2021.

    Nomination details can be viewed at HUD’s joint award website. Questions may be addressed to helpdesk@huduser.gov.


  • 02/22/2021 4:37 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team


    Do you have a topic that you think would be perfect for a presentation to fellow CRMers? Is there a discussion the industry should be having? If so, we want to hear from you!

    The Call for Sessions for the 2021 ACRA Conference in Old Town Alexandria is open!

    This year’s conference theme — A Watershed Year: Navigating Change in the CRM Industry — focuses on how the past few years have brought historic changes to not just ACRA, but to the CRM industry overall and the nation at large. From navigating new ways of conducting business in the face of COVID-19 to addressing long-standing diversity issues in the industry, now is the time for CRM firms to come together to bring lasting positive change.

    Consider submitting a session proposal for our 2021 event. Sessions can:

    • Reflect a variety of CRM topics, from business operations to best practices and beyond;
    • Involve an individual speaker, a suite of presenters, or a panel;
    • Revolve around a presentation or an interactive activity;
    • Last between 45 minutes and two hours, depending on the topic.

    It is through member participation that our conference program can expand each year, bringing new ideas and evoking teamwork as we strive to make our industry stronger. Click here to learn more about the submission requirements, and hurry - proposals are due April 1!

  • 02/19/2021 1:54 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    Kim Redman, President/General Manager of ACRA member firm Alpine Archaeological Consultants, has been elected Treasurer-Elect of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA). Kim is ACRA's Immediate Past President and current Nominating Committee chair. She and other Alpine employees have been integral to ACRA's operations, and we wish her luck in taking on this new role!

    Kim will become the SAA Treasurer in 2022 at the organization's annual meeting. Please join us in honoring Kim by adding your congratulations in the comments below!

  • 02/18/2021 2:09 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    The 2021 Vernacular Architecture Forum annual on-site meeting scheduled for San Antonio, Texas, May 19-23, has been postponed to 2022 due to the Covid-19 health emergency. VAF is reissuing a Call for Papers to be presented remotely at a virtual conference to be held May 21 and May 22, 2021. Papers, posters, and other presentations may address topics relating to vernacular and everyday buildings, sites, or cultural landscapes worldwide and how people use these sites. Submissions on all relevant topics are welcome.

    Applicants whose proposals are selected will receive timely instructions regarding how to prepare recordings for the conference. Presentations will be pre-recorded but will not be archived. Presenters should plan to attend live for introductions and questions during the actual days of the conference. Presenters must be VAF members at the time of the conference.

    More information on the call for papers, presentations, and posters is available here.

  • 02/17/2021 5:39 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    SAVE THE DATE
    27th Annual ACRA Conference
    September 8-12, 2021
    Alexandria, VA


    Stay tuned to the ACRAsphere for further details on sessions, registration, and more!





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