Peters and Ernst Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Federal Contracting Opportunities for Small Businesses Passes Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Legislation authored by U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Joni Ernst (R-IA) to encourage innovation in contracting and expand opportunities for small businesses to work with the federal government has passed the Senate. Federal contracts can provide significant opportunities for small businesses, but some agencies have been reluctant to utilize the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) contracting programs. The Promoting Rigorous and Innovative Cost Efficiencies for Federal Procurement and Acquisitions Act (PRICE Act) seeks to resolve this issue by requiring the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to work with federal acquisition administrators to share innovative best practices that will help modernize contracting procedures, realize cost savings for taxpayers, and ensure small businesses have a seat at the table in federal contracting. The legislation, which was unanimously approved by the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Small businesses in Michigan and across the country should not have to face hurdles when trying to obtain federal contracts. These businesses, which are the backbone of our economy, should never be left behind in this process,” said Senator Peters. “This commonsense legislation will give small business owners a fair shot to win federal contracts and grow their businesses. Now that it has passed the Senate, I will work with my colleagues in the House to pass it into law as soon as possible.”

“Small businesses are the backbone of Iowa’s economy, and we need to make sure they get their fair shot in the federal contracting process. This bipartisan bill, which I was proud to help pass in the Senate today, will help our business owners across the state have the opportunity to compete and succeed,” said Senator Ernst, a senior member of the Senate Small Business Committee.

Small businesses that want to compete in the federal marketplace often face hurdles to participating in government procurement. This is especially true for women-owned, veteran-owned, minority-owned, and disadvantaged small businesses. The PRICE Act would ensure that small businesses are front and center in the acquisition process by encouraging government entities to adopt new and innovative practices, increase small business participation in government contracting, modernize the federal acquisition process, and report on how to improve mission outcomes and save taxpayer money.

The legislation is supported by a broad coalition of groups including Small Business Majority, Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC), GovEvolve, HUBZone Contractors National Council, Women Veterans Business Coalition, and the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce.

“The HUBZone Contractors National Council commends Senator Peters for advancing the PRICE Act. Small business participation in the federal marketplace is key to ensuring a strong industrial base, however, small businesses find that agencies continue to be reluctant to utilize these programs,” said Michelle Burnett, Executive Director. HUBZone Contractors National Council. “The PRICE Act provides increased opportunities for HUBZone companies by encouraging the acquisition workforce to share innovative best practices to increase small business participation across the federal government.”

“Small IT companies are at the forefront of innovation, but often face barriers when selling to the federal government,” said Eminence Griffin, Executive Director, GovEvolve. “The PRICE Act addresses the need for modernizing the federal acquisition system and will be transformative for small business IT contractors around the country. GovEvolve is thrilled to support the PRICE Act and thanks Senators Peters and Ernst for championing this important issue.”

“APTAC is proud to support the PRICE Act. APTAC believes in sharing best practices and the difference it can make for all concerned,” said Terri Williams, President, APTAC. “APTAC members frequently share their own best practices with each other, which lends itself to invaluable information gained from the experience of others.  APTAC and its members applaud actions taken for the betterment of Government contracting—for our Government and the private sector.”