The Biden Administration is implementing new reforms that aim to increase federal contracting opportunities for underserved small businesses.
The reforms had been pushed by US Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair, Ben Cardin (D-Md.), who had recently introduced similar legislation. Biden’s reforms intend to immediately increase small business participation in governmental infrastructure projects from 5% to 11%.
Underserved Business Owners May Benefit from Federal Contract Award Reforms
Small businesses participating in the programs for underserved communities provided by the Small Business Administration (SBA) can look forward to more opportunities to secure lucrative federal contracts. Also, while the immediate plan is to increase small business participation to 11%, it will then be increased by 1% every year until it reaches 15% in 2025.
Women-owned small businesses will also have their federal contracting goal increased from 5% to 6% over the next two years, with the aim of reaching 7% by 2024.
Reforms to Produce Economic Benefits
Senator Ben Cardin said of the federal contracting reforms: “The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a once-in-a-generation investment by the federal government, and I applaud the Biden Administration for taking decisive action to ensure that underserved small businesses are able to take advantage of this opportunity.
“Federal contracting is one of the most reliable paths to the middle class for minorities, women, veterans, and other underserved entrepreneurs. The reforms implemented by the Biden Administration will produce economic benefits in some of our most underserved communities for generations to come.”
Senator Cardin Prioritizes Small Businesses
Cardin has made increasing access to federal contracts for underserved small businesses a priority for a long time. Recently he introduced legislation to establish the Minority Business Development Agency which will expand the agency’s programs to support minority entrepreneurs.
He has also helped introduce the Parren J. Mitchell Entrepreneurship Education Grants Program which aims to support the next generation of minority entrepreneurs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
In 2018, Cardin got the Small Business Runway Extension Act passed by the Senate. This act increased the small business size standards calculation from the average annual receipts from the previous three years to the previous five years. This helped small businesses that experienced some rapid growth in a short time, preventing them from losing their status as a small business before they were ready.
In response to the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, Cardin also secured a one-year extension for small businesses who were participating in the 8(a) Business Development Program at the end of 2020.