Mid-Tier Advocacy (MTA) fully supports the passage of the Advanced Small Business (ASB) Pilot Program, which was included in section 1611 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 (NDAA) and passed by both the House Armed Services Committee and the House of Representatives. Unfortunately, before the NDAA (2013) was passed into law, language to establish the ASB Pilot program was removed. Though with the help of MTA, it did include a mandate that the Department of Defense conduct a study on mid-tier companies success in federal contracting.

If established, this program would facilitate the growth and development of advanced small businesses to a degree otherwise unattainable with existing NAICS size standards that foster an environment of crippling competition. Currently, mid-tier businesses no longer considered small by these federal size standards must compete against multi-billion dollar corporations without the necessary resources or protections needed to succeed. These businesses, too big to be small and too small to be big, are essentially stagnated by their own success.

The ASB Pilot however, acts to correct this flaw in present federal procurement policies, allowing small emerging businesses to grow up to twice their current employee cap size and three times their current cap on annual receipts. It simply acts as another tool that can be utilized before a requirement has to be placed into full and open competition. An agency/department would be directed to consider small business programs [8(a), HUB Zone, SDVOSB, and traditional SB] before considering the ASB Pilot, thus preserving existing protections of smaller firms while opening opportunities for mid-tier companies to work on appropriate “medium size” contracts.

MTA also recognizes the clear value that small businesses provide our economy. As true engines of economic growth, small businesses allow for greater innovation, flexibility, and lower costs. The ASB Pilot program would facilitate said growth, while fostering manageable competition and increased diversification of the federal procurement industrial base. It would allow the most innovative businesses to spur real change, while simultaneously giving these businesses the ability to hire even more people (many of whom will be returning service members). In the words of MTA’s founder Ms. Saunders, “It is necessary for the government to continue to grow its successful small businesses to ensure the greatest amount of competition in order to deliver the best price possible in the interest of taxpayers.”

This entry was written by Dylan Garcia, an intern with the Washington Premier Group. He is currently a rising second year at the University of Virginia, and is planning on majoring in either Government or Marketing.

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