In his first bill of the 113th Congress, U.S. Senator Tom Udall is seeking to expand opportunities for small businesses to secure federal contracts, and make the reporting requirements for those awarded more transparent.
The Assuring Contracting Equity (ACE) Act of 2013, would raise the Small Business Administration's (SBA) government-wide small business contracting level from 23 to 25 percent. It would also increase the contracting goal from 5 to 10 percent for businesses owned by veterans, women and economically disadvantaged individuals.
"Small businesses are the drivers of our economy, and winning a federal government contract can often provide them with more opportunities for growth," said Udall. "The ACE Act will give small businesses -- especially those owned by women and veterans -- a better shot at tapping into federal awards, and I'm proud that it's the first bill I'm introducing this congress.
Udall's bill would prohibit reporting practices that artificially inflate the appearance of contracting to minority-owned businesses. It would also require the SBA to disclose the percentage of contracts that are awarded to small business from all federal contracting dollars, and to consider past subcontracting compliance in award decisions.
"I would like to personally thank Senator Udall for his tireless efforts to help small businesses," said Kirk McWethy, President of SDV Construction, a Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business based in Albuquerque.
"The ACE Act would provide greater opportunities for small businesses, like mine, to continue to grow and create high wage jobs in our local workforce. It would also grow a broader, more diverse pool of small businesses by providing greater transparency in the federal procurement process, which would translate into expanded opportunities in this difficult economy," McWethy added.
The ACE Act is supported by the National Association of Women Business Owners and the National Veteran-Owned Business Association.