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Velázquez Looks to Bolster SBA’s Government Contracting Office

Washington, D.C.— Today, the House Small Business Committee, chaired by Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), held a hearing reviewing the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Government Contracting and Business Development (GCBD) and their administration of the agency’s procurement initiatives. 
“When a small firm wins a federal contract, it initiates a ripple effect that creates jobs, invests in communities, and generally boosts the economy. The presence of small firms also helps drive innovation nationwide and competition in the federal marketplace,” said Chairwoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY). “Given its critical mission of maximizing small business participation in the federal marketplace, we must take steps to ensure the Office of Government Contracting and Business Development operates as effectively as possible.”
The Small Business Act of 1953 created the SBA and tasked the agency with ensuring a fair proportion of contracts and subcontracts for the federal government are awarded to small businesses. Today, GCBD oversees these governmentwide contracting goals and administers critical SBA initiatives like the 8(a) Program, the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business program, the Women-Owned Small Business program, and the HUBZone program. 
During the hearing, members reviewed government performance for small business contracting goals and discussed policies to ensure small contactors can compete on a level playing field in the procurement space. While the government has met overall small business contracting goals in recent years, benchmarks for programs like HUBZone and the Women-Owned Small Business program are rarely achieved. The hearing covered steps Congress and the agency can take to ensure program participants receive an adequate number of opportunities. Members also examined efforts at GCBD to improve staffing resources, strengthen internal controls, and implement key legislation related to contracting programs.
During the hearing, the head of GCBD updated the committee on the progress the agency has made in expanding small business participation in federal contracting, particularly for underserved businesses. 
“Under the leadership of President Biden, we have seen a governmentwide overhaul in how federal agencies, from contracting offices all the way up to front offices, approach and promote small business procurement,” said Bibi Hidalgo, Associate Administrator of the Office of Government Contracting & Business Development at SBA. “This Administration has shown over the past year and a half that it believes in advancing the cause of small and socioeconomic business contracting not only for the sake of our Congressional goals, but also for the health, security, and prosperity of our industrial base. In so doing, President Biden and Administrator Guzman have prioritized breaking down historic barriers to create opportunity for American entrepreneurs.”


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