A New Push to Rethink the Small-Biz Contracting Payoff

October 7, 2011

Federal programs aimed at aiding the growth of small businesses through federal contracting are not a good investment if they simply set up those firms to fail, some experts say.

The problem is that when small businesses become midsize businesses, they lose access to set-aside contracting programs and end up struggling to survive in the eat-or-be-eaten world of federal contracting. Some firms find a way to get by, but others end up selling out to bigger competitors.

That is not necessarily a good return on the federal government's investment. But help might be on the way.

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), who has many IT contractors in his district, is pushing a pilot program to help ease newly graduated small businesses into full-and-open competitions against the biggest contractors. 

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