AIA Urges Congress to Simplify Process for Small Businesses Contracting with Federal Government

Washington (PRESS RELEASE – March 26, 2010) — Unlike large enterprises with more resources, smaller businesses in the aerospace industry face daunting challenges in doing business with the federal government, a leading aerospace executive told the House Small Business Committee today.

“The federal contracting process is complex and, for small businesses, the process can be too difficult to manage,” said Robert R. Sprole, III, president and CEO of Therm, Inc., which manufactures jet engine turbine air foils.

Sprole, representing AIA and its nearly 300 member companies, told the committee that, in the aerospace business, small companies represent about 70 percent of manufactured items.

Small companies have found three major challenges in doing business with the federal government, specifically the Department of Defense. These are:

* Barriers to entry for federal contracting are onerous.
* Financial requirements that are difficult for large businesses may be fatal for smaller ones.
* As they grow, smaller businesses face new obstacles for retaining government business.

Sprole welcomed the ongoing review of export control rules as the current system makes it difficult and expensive for a small business to obtain an export license.

On behalf of AIA, Sprole urged Congress to order a study of how this complex maze of laws and regulations can be simplified.

“By opening the contracting process to new businesses, new jobs will be created, contracting requirements will be more easily understood and businesses, particularly small firms, will be encouraged to grow and prosper,” he said.

Sprole’s full testimony can be viewed at

Founded in 1919, the Aerospace Industries Association represents the nation’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of civil, military, and business aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aircraft systems, space systems, aircraft engines, materiel, and related components, equipment services, and information technology.

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