Rider on US Defense Bill Seeks to Improve the Government Contracts Awarded to Female Entrepreneurs
Each year, certain “must pass” bills are pushed through Congress with the goal of providing funding for essential government functions. One such bill, the National Defense Authorization Act, is an annual bill aimed at funding the military. Over the past few years, according to the Washington Post, the bill has also harbored ride along bills aimed at boosting small business, especially where it comes to awarding them their fair share of government contracts. Given the importance of passing key budget acts, they are often used as a way to get things done where smaller bills might otherwise get swept up in partisan politics and have a much diminished chance of making it into law.
Among small business bills riding the NDAA, the Women’s Small Business Procurement Policy Act was announced for 2015. In a report from seacoastonline.com, detail was given on Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s (D-N.H) announcement that this year’s defense bill would include a rider aimed at providing female owned contractors with better chances for procuring government contracts. Currently, while there is a 5% benchmark in place for awarding government contracts to female business owners, it has not been hit in the two decades it has existed, according to the WP article on the bill. This further legislation attempts to fix these persistent failures and create a foundation for nurturing stronger relationships with small contractors going forward, where in the past issues such as bundled contracts have helped favor contractors on the larger end of the spectrum with the capacity to handle larger numbers of projects in consolidated packages.
Support for small businesses should be a bipartisan concern going into 2016. As the election year to come begins to weigh more and more on the minds of the leadership of both major parties, small business owners may to see bipartisan effort to work in the interest of small business owners as a means of boosting their perceptions in the eyes of the public. A pro-small business stance can ostensibly linked to support of job creation, an important note to hit in an election year that promises to be hard fought around issues related to continued economic recovery.
Photo Credit to Steve wilson on Flickr