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Subcommittee on Contracting and Infrastructure Holds Hearing to Highlight the Decline in Small Business Federal Contracting

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Infrastructure Chairman Nick LaLota (R-NY) held a hearing titled “Leveling the Playing Field: State of Small Business Contracting”. Subcommittee Chairman LaLota issued the following statement after concluding today’s hearing.

“I appreciated hearing from today’s witnesses about improvements we can make to better serve small businesses across the country. It was great to hear directly from folks who have been directly involved in the SBA’s self-certification guidelines,” said Subcommittee Chairman LaLota. “My district on Long Island is home to thousands of small businesses which currently benefit and can benefit from future federal contracts. We need to make sure that small businesses have a fair shot at landing government contracts.”

Below are some key excerpts from today’s hearing:

Chairman Williams: “Inflation has been hurting small businesses across the country. And for contractors, I fear that this issue has an even larger impact. And if you are awarded a contract that you bid on months ago and suddenly all your supplier’s cost have increased by 10%, we all get this story, don't we? Your margins are getting squeezed tighter and tighter, and it makes it harder to stay in business. So, Ms. Ferrari, how has your business been dealing with the inflation over the past year?”

Ms. Ferrari: “Thank you for giving me the chance to talk about it. We got hit hard with our Air Force contract. It came to us just at the time inflation hit and we went from being in the black to being in the red. And rather than putting it out for re-compete or saying to the DLA that we couldn't do it, you know, in fear that if we said that we would never get another program again, we just looked deeply into the whole supply chain and actually went back to the DLA and asked if we could change the packaging and double the amount of pieces we put in the box. And after a couple of weeks, they vetted it through their sources and when they said yes it put us back into the black slightly, but yes, very much it has affected small business in four contracts that I know of, went back into re-competition because they just couldn't handle the disparity in price.”