Senate Small Business Comittee's Contracting Improvements Act of 2010October 17, 3600
INTRODUCTION OF THE SMALL BUSINESS CONTRACTING IMPROVEMENTS ACT OF 2010
Ms. LANDRIEU. Mr. President, I am pleased today to be introducing, along with the Ranking Member on my Committee Senator Olympia Snowe, the Small Business Contracting Improvements Act of 2010, legislation designed to protect the interests of small businesses and boost their opportunities in the federal marketplace.
As Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, I have focused a considerable amount of energy promoting the interests of small businesses in the federal contracting arena. The legislation I am introducing today marks a critical step forward in this process.
As the largest purchaser in the world, the federal government is uniquely positioned to offer new and reliable business opportunities for our Main Street businesses. Government contracts are perhaps one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways the government can help immediately increase sales for America’s entrepreneurs, giving them the tools they need to keep our economy strong and create jobs. By increasing contracts to small businesses by just 1 percent, we can create more than 100,000 new jobs – and today, we need those jobs more than ever.
But the reality is, small businesses need all the help they can get accessing federal contracts. In FY 2007, according to the Federal Procurement Data System, the federal government missed its 23 percent contracting goal by .992 percent. That .992 percent represents more than $3.74 billion and 93,500 jobs lost for small businesses. The numbers are even worse the next fiscal, in FY 2008 the Federal Procurement Data System reported that the government missed its goal by 1.51 percent – meaning more than $6.51 billion and 162,700 jobs lost. While these numbers tell the stark story of why this legislation is vital for our small businesses and our overall economy, they are still only a part of the story of why this legislation is needed.
Mr. President, our small businesses have been taking the brunt of this economic downturn. In this past year, small businesses accounted for more than 85 percent of job losses. This fact was vividly illustrated to me this weekend when I met with Louisiana business owners and officials. A small business owner who spoke at our meeting told of how he was down from 20 plus employees to three. He was clear that if he had access to federal work he would begin staffing up tomorrow. And that, Mr. President, is the reason I am introducing this legislation today. These contracting opportunities represent job creation for small businesses in a way that is unique. When large businesses get new work they typically spread that work among existing employees. When small businesses get these contracts they must staff up to meet the increased demand.
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