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Alarm In Small Business Contracting Community
The costs to small businesses for bidding on a federal contract have increased 21 percent over the past year while bidding activity has declined simultaneously.
The call follows the President’s remarks in the State of the Union Address and his announcement two weeks ago that his administration seeks to merge the Small Business Administration (SBA) with the Department of Commerce and other agencies in order to consolidate federal agencies responsible for the country’s economic activity and to save money.
Because details of the administration’
“The community has now committed to forming working groups that will get together to develop solutions to address the important issues facing small businesses that do business with the federal government,”
In announcing the consolidation of the SBA, the president said “I’ve asked the Congress to grant me the authority to consolidate the federal bureaucracy so that our government is leaner, quicker, and more responsive to the needs of the American people.”
While NaFCA applauds any effort to trim bureaucratic fat to make the process of federal contracting more efficient for taxpayers, the small business community finds ample reason to worry that the action might cut away flesh.
The small business contracting community is particularly concerned with regard to programs such as 8(a), HUBZone, SDB (Small Disadvantaged Business) and others, which were enacted to level the playing field for small business – especially those owned by minorities, veterans and other historically disadvantaged groups – when they bid for federal contracts.
In recent conversation in the small business community, concerns were raised that while a small business will always be a small business, their ability to certify under such programs might be diminished or the programs may face an uncertain future in general.
Such a development could not come at a worse time for the small business contracting community, which is already facing increased contract bundling, restrictive size standards, and lackadaisical enforcement of subcontracting regulations. A recent study on federal contracting by American Express OPEN revealed that, as a result, the costs to small businesses for bidding on a federal contract have increased 21 percent over the past year while bidding activity has declined simultaneously.
At a time when small business contractors are spending more than ever to develop their business and the jobs small businesses provide are needed like never before, NaFCA’s emergency meeting is a call to action to the small business federal contracting community to stop taking it on the chin, and to develop solutions designed to protect their interests with the help of organizations such as NaFCA.
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The National Federal Contractors Association (NaFCA) is a grassroots national advocacy association collaborating with policy makers, trade groups, and small business owners to increase small business opportunities in the federal marketplace. It relies heavily on the support of volunteers and does not represent the interests of any individual firm.