Biden’s announcement launched an all-of-government effort to expand contracting opportunities for underserved small businesses across the country. The new goal is to increase the share of contracts going to SDBs by fifty percent by 2026—translating to $100 billion over the next five years. Attainment of the new goal would represent the biggest increase in SDB contracting since data was first collected more than thirty years ago.
To meet the new goal, the Biden-Harris Administration is instructing agencies to assess every available tool to lower barriers to entry and increase opportunities for small businesses and traditionally underserved entrepreneurs to compete for federal contracts. This builds on intentions outlined in Biden’s recent budget proposal, which explained that “the Administration will pursue agile, innovative, outcome-based, and equity-focused, acquisition processes . . . [,] includ[ing] a dedicated effort to eliminate barriers that small businesses in underserved communities face when competing for contracts.”
The Biden-Harris Administration also released new details of President Biden’s American Jobs Plan. Specifically, the White House explained that the American Jobs Plan will invest $30 billion in new Small Business Administration (SBA) initiatives to reduce barriers in small business ownership and success. These initiatives are meant to increase access to capital by establishing a new direct loan program for the smallest businesses, developing new loan products to support small manufacturers and businesses that invest in clean energy, and launching a new Small Business Investment Corporation that will make early stage equity investments in small businesses with priority for those owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
The White House also announced that the American Jobs Plan will invest billions of dollars in SBA technical assistance programs that incubate and offer mentoring and technical assistance to 8(a) firms, reinforce the American subcontracting network to create pathways to prime contracting, encourage Fortune 500 firms to diversify their procurements, and bring more socially and economically disadvantaged businesses into federal research and development programs. These investments would include an innovative new $1 billion grant program through the Minority Business Development Agency meant to help minority-owned manufacturers access private capital.
If you have questions about the new contracting goals and how they may impact your business, please contact Christine Fries, the author of this blog, or a member of PilieroMazza’s Government Contracts Group.