California business group introduces new small business bill to Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office
LOS ANGELES, June 30, 2021 – The National Small Business Advocacy Council seeks the Democratic Senator’s sponsorship on new bill that would create Equity and opportunity for small businesses to compete for federal contracts as pandemic strain on minority-owned and women-owned business lingers on.
As President Biden’s 1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework moves forward in Washington D.C., a California-based business group is moving forward with a new bill that would make government business contracts more accessible to small businesses still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. The “Restore Small Business America” bill was submitted this week to the office of Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA-D) for sponsorship. The bill seeks to level the playing field in federal contracting for small business owners with an emphasis on providing equity access and assistance for minority business owners and women. The bill seeks to implement key policy changes to federal contracting protocols and procurement processes that would directly benefit small businesses and limit the outsourcing of government contracts to corporations outside of the U.S.
Proposed small business initiatives include:
- Increase small business set asides from 5% to 40% and increase goals for all designations.
- Stop bundling of government contracts that are consistently awarded to a small number of primes thereby reducing the opportunity for small business direct bid.
- Increase the number of PCRs (small business advocates for more small business set asides).
- Stop outsourcing of federal contracts to large primes who transfer the business overseas.
- Use of factoring to support small business via “non-profit” organizations as a passthrough from SBA (this could be in addition to SBA loans or in lieu of SBA Loans).
- Help subsidize small business with cost prohibitive specialty certifications that are a barrier to eligibility or bidding government contracts (i.e., Cybersecurity certification – CMMC, CMMI, NIST DFARS Clause 252.204-7020, NIST 800-171, ISO).
- Provide more support with teams of small business for the opportunity to bid on large contracts.
- Possible VMS model for IT and professional support to allow for more small business participation.
- Expedited accounts receivable to small business with a (15-30) day net pay for services rendered.
- A simplified RFP process with the ability to accept commercial experience in lieu of past performance if small business is new to the process.
- Address lack of diversity in federal contracting; and Equitable access to OTA (Other Transaction Authority) opportunities, currently now specifically allocated to Large Businesses, to help start and grow small business.
“As Biden’s Infrastructure Bill passes its final hurdle in Washington D.C., it has never been more timely to invigorate and support Small Business in the U.S.,” said Antonette Vanasek, a Co-Author of the “Restore Small Business America” bill. Vanasek is Founder and CEO of Vanasek Insurance, a Pasadena, CA.- based insurance firm seeking federal contracts for cybersecurity insurance services.
“Many small businesses have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic Small businesses employ half of the American workforce and make up nearly half of US GDP. The key to recovery for America’s economy lies in the health of small businesses, and providing a pathway for small business to compete for federal contracts would be transformative for businesses and industries that have been left behind in efforts to restart the economy this past year,” Vanasek said.
“We propose increasing opportunities for putting Small Businesses to work with the Federal government by simplifying and enlarging the path to get there,” she said.
According to researchers, small business access to federal contracts has dropped almost 40% in the last decade. From 2010 to 2019, the number of small businesses providing common products and services to the federal government shrank by 38%. Even more dramatically, the number of small businesses entering the procurement marketplace as new entrants declined by 79% from 2005 to 2019. (Bipartisan Policy Center)
“When small businesses have the opportunity to compete for federal contracts, the impact is immediately felt in our local communities,” said Allison Allain, Founder of PCI Builders and Co-Author of the “Restore Small Business America Bill.” Allain is the Founder of Monrovia-based construction firm. “Access to federal contracts provides small businesses a platform to scale their operations, hire more employees, generate more revenue, and ultimately pay more in state and federal taxes that fund important community programs and critical infrastructure,” she said.
Small business procurement is an under-appreciated yet critically important dimension of economic activity. Each year, tens of thousands of small businesses serve as contractors to the federal government, providing a variety of goods and services.
“The pandemic offered an enormous lesson in diversification of supply chains that the federal government should consider when reviewing this bill,” Allain said. “Allowing a mix of small businesses to compete for federal contracts with large companies enables more resilient supply chains, job creation, a vibrant and innovative industrial base for national security, and more diverse, competitive, and dynamic markets,”she said.
The “Restore Small Business America Bill” urgently aims to address some of the biggest issues straining post-pandemic recovery for small business owners and create a safety net to protect the economy from being sidelined again in the future.
“The federal infrastructure bill will provide a much-needed influx of resources for small business and by pushing our bill forward, it is our goal to ensure that resources are prioritized for the needs of small business owners,” Vanasek said. “We delivered this bill directly to the desk of Senator Feinstein asking that she sponsor the bill and immediately deliver it to the House floor’s next session.
“It is a state of emergency for small business and access to federal contracts on a level playing field is one example of an effective solution,” Vanasek said.
A total of 7 California small business owners co-authored the bill. Five of them are women and identify as minority business owners.
About the NSBAC
The NSBAC has come together to represent and advocate for small business resolutions in communities across the U.S. It the mission and goal of the NSBAC to springboard COVID-19 recovery by campaigning for and allying with small business leaders to incite real and impactful change in California and nationwide.
For more information about the NSBAC visit www.nsbac.us
Contact Information: Melissa Rein Lively, The Brand Consortium PR Melissa@TheBrandConsortium.com, 602.384.4747