This entry was originally posted in Nick Wakeman's Editor's Notebook of Washington Technology, in response to his post "Is it time to reform small-business programs?"
Reform and not removal
by theasbcguy on 11/24/08 -- 12:49 PM
Ever since the announcement of the GAO "Rule of Two" decision was
made followed by the Rothe Development "SDB" court ruling, the snipers
have upped the level of rhetoric bashing the usefulness of the Small
Business Program in Government Contracting.
I am always quick to urge companies not to lead with the fact that
they are "8(a), Woman-owned, SDVOSB" or otherwise, but to go into
situations based on the value they bring to the table which may be
complemented by attributes such as their small business designation(s).
This however, does not eliminate the fact that inequities exist for
groups of Americans who contribute by way of actions and taxes and are
not provided the same access to opportunities. I am further discouraged
by those who want to eliminate not only the race-based programs, but
attack the programs benefiting the Greatest Americans, our Veterans
and Service-Disabled Veterans and those that benefit Americans
regardless of their race, such as the HUBZone Program.
One of the many tragedies impacting the participation and
utilization of the small business programs is the "opportunistic
faction" also known as beltway bandits (or in the case of some, the "beyond the beltway bandits"), who are not concerned with the
negative impact on the government mission and are in it for nothing
more than "wanting something for nothing" aka greed. For the majority
of the small businesses involved in government contracting who are
honorable, hard working and talented, the frustration I share with them
Reform is definitely needed by way of a major leveling of the field
so that one group representing what is likely the smallest segment of
government contractors, does not receive an unparalleled advantage over
others who deserve assistance in providing quality goods and services
in support of our Government. Eliminate the small business programs
entirely and our current socioeconomic situation seem like a cakewalk
compared to what happens when the community that is home to our
Nation's largest collective employer is turned upside down.
Keep up the good work!
The American Small Business Coalition