PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Procurement Opportunities Must Remain Open & Accessible to All Small Businesses

By at 15 September, 2021, 9:03 am

Dear U.S. House Member:

The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) has long supported an open, fair and competitive federal procurement marketplace that makes it simple for small to mid-size businesses (SMBs) to bid on and win federal contracts.  We are pleased to see interest by Congress to accelerate the testing of different e-commerce models to increase competition in the General Service Administration (GSA) e-commerce pilot and believe this will greatly benefit taxpayers as well as provide new federal procurement opportunities for small businesses.

The research pilot to date has had a positive outcome, and specifically the e-marketplace model, as noted by a June 2021 GSA on the cost estimates of the business model to respond to Section 827 of the FY20 NDAA: “GSA believes that the e-marketplace provider model continues to provide significant benefit to the Government buyer, while closely aligning with administration priorities and minimizing Government burden and costs. Finally, once fully implemented, the program believes it can be cost-neutral, further reducing the burden to the American taxpayer.”

This is good news, and it is important that testing, research and implementation continue before major changes are made that could disrupt and distort the pilot’s findings, which to date have been promising for taxpayers, government procurement officials and SMBs alike.

That is why we oppose the Escobar Amendment (#499) to the Rules Committee that would prohibit Amazon and by extension all the SMBs in their store from participating in this important e-commerce pilot.

Unfortunately, efforts such as these to punish technology leaders such as Amazon would also diminish or destroy opportunities for small businesses to more easily access markets, and in this case federal contracting opportunities. The complexity and cost of government contracting has kept most small businesses away from these opportunities, and technology platforms can enable access to these markets for countless SMBs. That is precisely why small businesses use Amazon.

SBE Council urges you to stand with SMBs and government efficiency and oppose the Escobar Amendment. Thank you, in advance, for your support of small businesses.

Sincerely,

Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO

 

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