Reps. Smucker and Torres Small Introduce Legislation to Reduce DoD Contracting Barriers to Small Businesses

May 17, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Reps. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) and Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM) introduced legislation to help small businesses foster partnerships to improve their participation as suppliers to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

The bipartisan Defense Small Business Advancement Act (H.R. 2974) will help connect small businesses in Pennsylvania and across the country with DoD contracting opportunities that otherwise may have been out of their reach. This legislation reauthorizes and brings greater accountability to the DoD Mentor-Protégé Program (MPP), which expired last year. The MPP increases participation of small, disadvantaged businesses performing as suppliers to DoD, civilian agencies, and private industry by encouraging mentorships from established DoD contractors.

“Small businesses are playing a critical role in driving our current economic growth. Yet these businesses often lack the resources necessary to compete for federal government contracts,” Rep. Smucker said. “Permanently reauthorizing the Department of Defense’s Mentor-Protégé Program will give Pennsylvania’s small businesses a reliable pathway to navigate government red tape through collaborative partnerships with their peers.”

“Small businesses are the backbone of America and are essential to the vibrancy of our local communities. Yet, they’re often shut out of major government contracts, like those at the Department of Defense, because of complicated procurement processes and requirements. By reauthorizing the Department of Defense’s Mentor-Protégé Program, we’re opening the door for New Mexico’s small businesses to partner and learn from already established defense companies, which in turn will create good paying jobs, foster innovation, and grow the economy,” said Rep. Torres Small.

The DoD’s Mentor-Protégé program has a record of success over its nearly 30-year history. For every year a small business participated in the program, the average business added 13.4 new, full-time employees to its payroll and earned $7.3 million in additional revenue. Integrating small businesses into the supply chain that serves as the bedrock of our national security is critical to preserving peace both at home and abroad.