If you didn't have a chance to read a recent Federal Times editorial with the title "SBA rules help business, but vigilance required" let me sum it up for you. It is a decent piece that makes several good points about challenges faced by Government with ensuring small business actually gets to small business (direct award and subcontracted), it also goes on to make comments about the increasing/increased size standards which I disagree with.
Here is my response to the editorial:
While I support some of the comments in this editorial, I respectfully and emphatically disagree with it being "about time" for the size standard changes.
While you cite "inflation and the nature of federal contract work have together conspired to render inadequate the old definition..." the radical increase in some codes from $4.5 million to $19 million has and will be oppressive and destructive. This essentially took food off the table of companies who may have been working for years to achieve a level of growth, only to have that potential rewards of that hard work effectively snatched away.
Additionally, what is not considered in SBA's calculations is the level of increased capacity and sophistication companies have today due to a number of factors notwithstanding technology advancements.
Your comments regarding the mid-size firms that benefit from this change reinforces my belief the editorial title should actually read "SBA rules help "other than small" business, but vigilance required for true small businesses to survive" as these changes are akin to stocking the pond with the big fish you want to catch. It's just as you describe in the next paragraph from your editorial:
"With more qualifying firms, however, it should now be easier for those contracting officers to reach their goals. Expanding the definition of "small business” will indeed increase the competition for those funds, sometimes at the expense of the smallest competitors. "
Rather than being focused on making it easy for contracting officers, why not leverage more efficient processes and evaluation criteria that allow the best solution or product to be implemented and not just the least expensive one. This would eliminate the many "do-overs" that continue to happen when ineffective procurements are made.
One purpose of the government contracting assistance programs is to develop the industrial base to support the current and future needs of government agencies. The only development here is the revolting one that has government molding the base to an aesthetically pleasing form based on convenience.
Isn't hard work one of the hallmarks of American history?
These are the types of actions that drive innovative, hard working entrepreneurs and small business owners away from government contracting, to the detriment of the Government and the men and women in Government who simply want the best products and services to support their efforts. Small federal contractors provide a number of those best products and services.
Again, I concur with you on several comments related to subcontracting and the need for support for contracting officers.
The Chief Visionary
"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it."
Differentiate Yourself. Develop and Leverage Your Small Business C4ISR™.
(Capacity, Commitment, Core Competency, Intelligence, Strategy and Relationships)