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Prison to Proprietorship and Government Contracting Reforms Pass Small Business Committee

Washington, D.C.— Today, the House Small Business Committee passed four bipartisan reforms to amend the Small Business Act. The measures will launch entrepreneurship training programs for the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated, protect fast-growing small businesses, and lower barriers to entry for small firms in government contracting. 

“I am proud that both Democrats and Republicans on this committee could come together to pass this set of important bills,” said Chairwoman Velázquez. "The bills passed today institute critical programs and reforms that will help many different kinds of Americans start and run their small businesses. From aspiring entrepreneurs that are currently or formerly incarcerated to small government contractors looking to better compete in the marketplace, this Committee is committed to helping small businesses of all types to flourish.”  

H.R. 5078, “Prison to Proprietorship Act”

Introduced by Chairwoman Velázquez and Ranking Member Steve Chabot (R-OH).

More than 37,000 incarcerated individuals were released from federal prison in 2018. Studies show that once they came home, they were confronted by a lack of opportunity and a high potential for recidivism. H.R. 5078 would seek to expand opportunity for the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated by directing SBA resource partners to provide entrepreneurial development training in federal prisons. The legislation implements training programs on topics like starting and expanding a small business, creating a business plan, and identifying sources of capital. The program would prioritize those set to leave prison within 18 months.

H.R. 5065, “Prison to Proprietorship for Formerly Incarcerated Act”

Introduced by Rep. Jeffries and Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN)

This legislation would complement H.R. 5078 by launching a program where SCORE participants provide entrepreneurial development training to the formerly incarcerated. Under the bill, SCORE would provide returning citizens with workshops, mentoring, and training opportunities tailored to their unique needs and designed to help them start and grow a small business. 

H.R. 5130, “Capturing All Small Businesses Act of 2019”

Introduced by Rep. Veasey and Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK)

This bill modifies the methods for calculating the employee-based size standard by the SBA for small businesses. The SBA size standards represent the largest size that a firm may be to retain their small business classification. Under current law, expanding small businesses often outgrow their size standards and become ineligible for small business set-asides and SBA programs. By modifying the receipts based formula the SBA uses to calculate size, H.R. 5130 will give small businesses more time to transition and the ability to better compete in the marketplace. 

H.R. 5146, “Unlocking Opportunities for Small Businesses Act of 2019”

Introduced by Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R-MN) and Vice Chair Dwight Evans (D-PA)

Small businesses that wish to perform as prime contractors are often faced with a dilemma. Prime contracts are judged on the basis of past performance. This past performance is judged by work history on prime contracts. Without the requisite work experience, small businesses don’t have the ability to compete for and win prime contracts. But without winning prime contracts, they are unable to develop a record of performance that would allow them to earn a contract. H.R. 5146, improves this situation by allowing small businesses to leverage past performance experience obtained as part of joint ventures and subcontracts, which otherwise wouldn’t be an option.

More information regarding the markup can be found here.

For a video recording, click here.  


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