Yesterday, the House Small Business committee passed the Building Better Partnerships Act of 2012 (H.R. 3985). Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-32) introduced this bipartisan bill with Congressman Bobby Schilling (IL-17) to help small businesses more easily join mentor-protégé programs that lead to federal contracts. Following the bill's passage, Congresswoman Chu released the following statement:
"Historically, it has been difficult for small businesses to gain a toe-hold in the federal contracting system. But with average annual spending at $500 billion, there is no better way for small businesses to expand during these tough times than through federal contracts. Mentor-Protégé programs partner small businesses with companies already contracting with the 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.
"However, when the Government Accountability Office raised concerns last year about the effectiveness of mentor-protégé programs and questioned the accuracy of data in the Small Business Association's Government Contracting Area Report, I knew something had to be done.
"The Building Better Businesses Partnership Act of 2012 will help small firms break into federal contracting by making it easier for them to join mentor-protégé programs. My bill will streamline the process and create better oversight over the mentor-protégé programs so that small businesses truly benefit from these agreements. Helping small businesses win contracts will help put Americans back to work, and with two out of every three jobs coming from small businesses, this bill will help the true driving force behind America's economy."