Biden Administration Likely To Increase Contracting Opportunities for Small and Minority-Owned Businesses
The campaign outlined a $400 billion plan “to support small businesses and tackle inequities in the federal contracting system.”
The incoming Biden administration is likely to increase contracting opportunities for small and minority-owned businesses.
President-elect Biden will take office in less than one month and his transition website states that tackling climate change, racial inequalities, the coronavirus pandemic and economic recession will be his main priorities, all of which could involve federal contracting.
“I think we’re going to see more regulation generally promoting competition and furthering the socioeconomic policies of the new administration, which is different in many respects from the current administration,” Andy Howard, partner in the law firm Alston and Bird’s government contracts group, told Government Executive. Biden is widely expected to revoke President Trump’s executive order that required two regulations to be eliminated for every new one issued, which could allow for more regulations policing contracting.
Howard also speculated that the new administration could use infrastructure spending as a form of “stimulus” for small business contractors.
The Biden campaign website outlines a $400 billion plan “to support small businesses and tackle inequities in the federal contracting system.”
Specifically, it would expand the Small Business Administration's small business development program to increase participation of small disadvantaged firms, require prime contractors to increase subcontracting opportunities for small disadvantaged businesses and protect small businesses from contact bundling (as that often prevents “smaller firms, especially those owned by Black and Brown people, from effectively bidding on procurement contracts,” said the campaign).
The campaign also said the Biden administration would triple the federal government’s contracting goal for small, disadvantaged businesses (currently at 5%) by 2025.
“Small businesses have been performing particularly well, which is mostly a byproduct of the increased funds” for contractors over the last five years,” Daniel Snyder, director of contract analysis at Bloomberg Government, told Government Executive. “The [incoming] Biden and Harris administration has certainly suggested they’re going to utilize some of the policy directives to increase small business influence.”
SBA reported in August that the federal government exceeded its overall small business contracting goals for the seventh consecutive year in fiscal 2019 and the agencies also broke records for prime contracts awarded to women-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned and small disadvantaged businesses.
Biden’s people “very much want to make sure that they’re giving the benefit and some attention to these small, disadvantaged businesses,” Stephanie Johnson, director of business and professional services senior analyst at the accounting and consulting firm RSM, told Government Executive. “Not only just from the perspective of looking out for things like equality amongst those disadvantaged groups, but also looking to kind of help prop up the small businesses given the economic situation that we’re in.”
She also said she believes under the Biden administration, “there may be a bit more documentation, a bit more regulation, a bit more really wanting to open the lid to see what’s underneath the hood,” to ensure transparency and accountability for contractors.