Ms. CHU. I hear over and over from small businesses that the one thing they need in these tough times is customers. And who is the biggest customer? The Federal Government. Each year, the government spends $500 billion on Federal contracts, but only 20 percent is going to small firms. Small businesses create two out of every three new jobs. So for us to grow the economy, we have to give small businesses a bigger slice of the Federal contracting pie.
Today I am introducing the Building Better Business Partnerships Act. This bill will help small firms break into Federal contracting by making it easier for them to join mentor-protege programs. These programs partner small businesses with companies already contracting with government. It gives small firms a foot in the door so they can navigate the Federal process, get experience on a contract, and eventually win a Federal job of their own. And that means more work and a new customer for small businesses everywhere.