2017 U.S. American Small Business Chamber of Commerce Legislative and Regulatory Priorities

The Status of America’s Small Businesses and Small Business Suppliers

  • Small businesses are driving employment growth; over 50 percent of America’s non-farm workforce is employed by small businesses.
  • The SBA June 2015 Market Update reports that firms with 1-499 employees are adding more net new jobs than large businesses. Through the first three quarters of 2014, small businesses added 1.4 million net new jobs.
  • The establishment of new businesses is outpacing closings.
  • The number of small business suppliers to the federal government is in decline. Over the last ten
    years, there has been a decline of 12.26% in the total number of small business vendors to the federal government. There are 15,178 less small business vendors today then there were in 2005 (as of FY 2014).
  • Only 41.4% of the small businesses registered in the federal database seeking access to federal contracts secured contracts in FY 2014.
  • Small business awards dropped nearly $20B between FY 2014 and FY 2015. Small business awards have now dropped to FY 2005 levels.
  • While awards and small business suppliers are dropping, the overall size of awards are increasing significantly – making it harder and harder for small firms to get a foot hold, ramp up and compete.

Congress, Federal Leaders Can Support Small Business Federal Suppliers

  • Raise the Goal for purchasing with small businesses from 23% to 35%, which more accurately reflects the make-up of U.S. business ownership.
  • Hold the Small Business Administration accountable to expediently end unwarranted, unjustified exclusions from small business goaling. These exclusions are simply unfair carve-outs that rob small businesses of billions of dollars in lost opportunity every year.
  • Bring Transparency. Mandate the federal government publish timely and detailed reporting of federal contracting with small businesses to include all details broken down by agency and purchasing group.
  • Stop unwarranted Bundling and Consolidation.
  • Hold the SBA accountable to provide small business verification oversight and provide transparent and detailed small business goaling reports that do not include inappropriately counted contracts awarded to firms that are not small and/or do not meet socio-economic set- aside requirements. A GAO study is needed to find why and how so many false reports are included in SBA goaling each year.
  • Hold the SBA accountable to forcefully fight for small business including reaching the federal required “maximum practical opportunity” in their negotiations for small business goaling rather than just seeking 23% [per 15 U.S.C. 644 §15(g)(1)].
  • Hold the SBA accountable to hire and train more qualified Procurement Center Representatives (PCRs) and empower the PCRs to act strongly to protect opportunities for small business suppliers.
  • Hold the SBA accountable to implement Congressional actions that require regulatory changes that enhance small business participation in the federal marketplace.
  • Protect and advance budgets and support for the national networks of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers and Manufacturing Extension Partnership centers.
  • Preserve consumer protection oversight through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that supports transparency and integrity in small business lending and other financial services.