House Small Business Committee
WASHINGTON—Today, Members of the House Committee on Small Business heard from a panel of national security experts and cybersecurity firms on the existential threat that the Chinese-owned telecommunications firm, ZTE, poses to American small businesses and citizens.
“Hearings by this Committee have shown that small businesses have become top targets for nefarious state-backed actors because they tend to be the softest targets. They have fewer resources to manage their IT systems and respond to cybersecurity incidents, and they often lack the technical knowledge needed to assess the ever-evolving threats,” said Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH). “When we talk about existential threats to national security—and that is what ZTE is—it is the federal government’s job to protect Americans and American small businesses.”
Small Business Security is National Security
“These aggressors are seeking to disrupt manufacturing not only through the espionage of intellectual property; but also the destruction of the U.S. supply chain by crippling them both financially and through attacks,” said Mr. David Linger, President and CEO of TechSolve, Inc. in Cincinnati, OH. “In addition to their contributions to the economy, creating jobs, and building products critical to our daily life and defense of this nation, small manufacturers are especially important because they drive innovation. For those of us that work with small manufacturers who have teetered on the brink of closing their doors due to cyber-attacks; their cyber-crimes are personal, real, and distressing.”
“Small business in America is inherently resilient, creative, and able to adapt quickly to market conditions. One thing small business cannot do effectively, however, is compete against nation-state attacks, aggressive, unrelenting international espionage, and theft of trade secrets. And those are exactly the challenges presented by ZTE and Huawei,” said Mr. Andy Keiser, Visiting Fellow from the National Security Institute at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School in Arlington, VA.
“For its part, ZTE has proven to be a particularly bad actor, flouting U.S. export control laws and deceiving regulators. In 2016, the U.S. government found that ZTE violated U.S. sanctions against Iran and North Korea, by using various U.S. components in systems it sold to those two countries,” said Mr. Matthew G. Olsen, President of IronNet Cybersecurity in Kensington, MD. “The critical national security concern going forward is the risk that ZTE and other Chinese-backed technology firms may pose to U.S. telecommunications and other critical infrastructure—risks that Congress and the intelligence community have amply documented.”Click HERE to read full testimony and HERE for full hearing video.
Yesterday, President Donald J. Trump signed Chairman Steve Chabot's (R-OH) landmark bill, H.R. 4743, the Small Business 7(a) Lending Oversight Reform Act, to increase the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) oversight authority over the 7(a) Loan Program. The bipartisan and bicameral legislation was introduced by House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot, and Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee Chairman Jim Risch (R-ID), and Ranking Member Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) and Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).
Pictured here, from left to right, is Chairman Jim Risch, SBA Administrator Linda McMahon, President Donald J. Trump, and Chairman Steve Chabot.
Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead
WASHINGTON – This week, the President signed H.R. 2333, the Small Business Investment Opportunity Act, introduced by Contracting and Workforce Subcommittee Chairman Steve Knight (R-CA), to increase the amount of leverage made available to small business investment companies (SBICs).
“No doubt, access to capital remains one of the biggest obstacles for small business owners in growing their companies. Congressman Knight’s bill will allow small businesses to more easily get the financing they need and I thank him for all the hard work he has put into this bill to see it become law,” said Chairman Chabot (R-OH).
“I am very pleased that the Small Business Investment Opportunity Act, has been signed into law. This bill will make improvements to the Small Business Investment Company Program and help ensure that our small businesses have access to the capital they need to flourish and grow. Small businesses are an integral part of our country, and by improving their ability to expand and thrive, we can make the American dream more available for everyone,” said Congressman Knight.
The Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy, and Trade will meet for a hearing titled, “Accelerating Agriculture: How Federal Regulations Impact America’s Small Farmers.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:30 A.M. on Thursday, June 21, 2018 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
Complying with federal regulations continues to be one of the biggest challenges for America’s small businesses, including small farmers. Many federal agencies have the authority to issue regulations that impact the agriculture industry. As a result, small farmers often struggle to comply with expensive, confusing, and time-consuming regulations, which impacts their ability to grow. This hearing will examine how federal regulations affect small farmers and explore ways to provide regulatory relief to the industry.Attachments
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List
Mr. Craig Martins
Three Rivers FS
* Testifying on behalf of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives and GROWMARK, Inc.
Mr. John Weber
Valley Lane Farms Inc.
* Testifying on behalf of the National Pork Producers Council
Mr. Glenn Brunkow
Brush Creek Cattle Company
* Testifying on behalf of the American Farm Bureau Federation
WASHINGTON – Today, President Trump signed into law a bipartisan, bicameral bill led by House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH), Senator Jim Risch (R-ID), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, House Ranking Member Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) and Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). The bill, the Small Business 7(a) Lending Oversight Reform Act, will ensure appropriate oversight of Small Business Administration’s (SBA) flagship loan program and improve access to capital for small business owners. Numerous small business advocacy groups, program participants, and entrepreneurs applauded the bill’s passage and encouraged the President to sign it into law. This bill passed both the House and Senate Committees unanimously, and passed the House and Senate without objection.
Chairman Chabot said: “For many small business owners and entrepreneurs who have been turned down for financing, SBA’s 7(a) Loan Program can make or break their company. It’s the difference between a small business expanding and creating jobs in their community and a business idea that fails to launch. That’s why we need to make sure the program remains intact and continues to serve small business owners as it was intended to do. I’m proud of the work my colleagues and I have put into seeing the Small Business 7(a) Lending Oversight Reform Act become law but, more importantly, it’s a huge win for small businesses."
“I’m grateful to President Trump for signing this important legislation into law,” said Chairman Risch. “Since the SBA’s 7(a) loan program was enacted, millions of entrepreneurs have used this critical financial lifeline to start or expand their business -- funds they wouldn’t have otherwise had access to. Our job in Congress is to make sure these vital programs are being operated effectively and with appropriate oversight to ensure they will be available for future generations of entrepreneurs. The Small Business 7(a) Lending Oversight Reform Act is an example of hard work in a bipartisan and bicameral way to ensure these objectives are met. I’m proud of the work we’ve done on this bill and thank all of my colleagues involved for their efforts.”
“Whether it is a leading edge technology startup in San Francisco, a small bakery in Brooklyn or a mom-and-pop diner in Ohio, all small businesses face a common challenge in securing affordable financing,” said Velázquez. “This program ensures more businesses can access capital to grow, invest in their operations and, ultimately, create jobs. This bill will help yet more entrepreneurs access capital, creating greater economic opportunity. Importantly, I am pleased this bipartisan measure includes a provision allowing the agency flexibility to handle unexpected high demand for loans and guaranteeing there are no interruptions in the flow of capital to small firms. I thank my colleagues for working in such a bipartisan manner in advancing this bill to enactment.”
“Small businesses are the backbone of New Hampshire’s economy, and I am pleased to see our bipartisan legislation to improve the SBA’s 7(a) loan program signed into law,” said Shaheen. “This program provides critical resources and access to credit for Granite Staters who are starting a business, and helps owners who have been in business for years to expand their workforce. I will continue to reach across the aisle to advocate on their behalf so New Hampshire owners can access the capital they need to succeed and grow our state’s economy.”
The 7(a) loan program is a SBA program that helps entrepreneurs and small businesses access credit to start and grow their businesses when they are unable to get a conventional loan. The Small Business 7(a) Lending Oversight Reform Act, which is now law, preserves the important 7(a) loan program by updating the credit elsewhere test, which is the entry point to the program, increasing oversight of the program and transparency to Congress, and providing flexibility for the Administrator to increase the program’s authorization cap in an emergency. It will ensure the SBA has the tools it needs to oversee this growing program, provide lenders with needed clarity, and make sure entrepreneurs and small business owners have access to funds they would otherwise not be able to obtain.
This bill was widely supported in the small business community, including by the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders (NAGGL), the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), the American Bankers Association (ABA), the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU), the Consumer Bankers Association (CBA), the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The Committee on Small Business will meet for a hearing titled, “Communities That Think Small and Win Big.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
This hearing will highlight communities that have developed thriving small business ecosystems. Local officials will analyze key elements of a business-friendly environment and review socioeconomic returns on small business investment within their communities and surrounding regions. Members will have the opportunity to discuss innovative economic development policy strategies and determine best practices.Attachments
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List
Mr. Greg Prestemon
President & CEO
EDC Business & Community Partners
St. Charles, MO
Mr. Derek Miller
President & CEO
Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance
Salt Lake City, UT
Mr. Gregg Bishop
NYC Department of Small Business Services
New York, NY
WASHINGTON—Today, Members of the House Committee on Small Business heard from a panel of local officials on the way their communities have developed thriving small business ecosystems.
“Every small business ecosystem relies on a delicate balance of support and resources to survive,” said Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH). “The creation of a healthy ecosystem requires significant investment by all participants: small business owners, support organizations, and policymakers. Policymakers and support organizations, like the ones we have on this panel, have developed innovative strategies, resources, and measurements to ensure local small businesses are thriving.”
What the Experts Said
“We have a simple mission: to help businesses and communities grow,” said Mr. Greg Prestemon, Chief Executive Officer for the Economic Development Council Business & Community Partners in St. Charles County, MO. “We do this through two main flagship programs, both of which are part of the Small Business Administration. We are a certified development company, and thus we offer the 504 Loan program to borrowers throughout the state of Missouri. We have a current portfolio of over 250 loans valued at approximately 115 million.”
“In Utah, the government and the business community work collaboratively and intentionally to create a strong business environment and support our growing small business community,” said Mr. Derek Miller, President and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance in Salt Lake City, UT. “Additionally, the Governor's office, state legislature and the Salt Lake Chamber are always looking at ways to evaluate and eliminate unnecessary regulations. Utah’s regulatory system is modernized, balanced and transparent so businesses have the confidence they need to hire, invest and innovate.”
“Building an ecosystem around your community’s unique advantages will prove more sustainable and impactful than placing a trend in the middle of your city,” said Ms. Vanessa Wagner, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Manager at the Loudoun County Department of Economic Development in Ashburn, VA. “One of the most important assets you have in building an entrepreneurial ecosystem is the businesses already there. The companies in your city provide the experience and talent to build the next generation of businesses.”
WASHINGTON—Today, House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) released the following statement on the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new rule on Association Health Plans:
“Today’s actions by the Department of Labor are a life raft to the 30 million American small businesses and startups struggling with the burdensome regulations Obamacare imposed on them. I applaud Secretary Acosta and the Trump Administration for expanding access to Association Health Plans (AHPs), thus allowing small businesses and self-employed workers to band together by geographic location or industry to obtain health care coverage. By doing so, AHPs are leveling the playing field, lowering health care costs, and expanding affordable coverage.”Chairman Chabot also cosponsored H.R. 1101, the Small Business Health Fairness Act, which passed the House last year.
WASHINGTON—Recently, Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Ranking Member Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) sent a letter to the Honorable Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States at the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), requesting a report on the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) performance during the past hurricane season.
“SBA is a resource for millions of people who have been victims of natural disasters across our nation,” said Chairman Steve Chabot. “As we examine disaster relief efforts at the SBA, it is critical that we have every piece of information from the past hurricane season at our disposal. We want to ensure that every opportunity to help is not overlooked or wasted as these communities that have been destroyed start to rebuild. I thank the Ranking Member for her persistence and passion as we tackle these pressing issues together.”
“When a natural disaster strikes, SBA is a vital part of the federal response to help small businesses and homeowners rebuild,” said Ranking Member Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez. “As communities from Texas to Puerto Rico still struggle to recover from the devastating hurricanes of 2017, it is imperative that SBA disaster relief efforts are carried out with maximum efficiency and as Congress intended. I am grateful to the Chairman for joining me in asking GAO to examine SBA’s 2017 disaster response. As we embark upon the start of a new hurricane season, this is an important step toward ensuring the agency is best equipped to respond to future disasters.”
Read the full letter HERE.
The Committee on Small Business will meet for a field hearing titled, “The Perspective of Rural Small Businesses in North Mississippi.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 2:00 P.M. (CT) on Monday, June 18, 2018 at the ServPro Training Center, 1160 Stateline Road East, Southaven, MS.
Rural America is still recovering from the last recession in 2008. Many rural small businesses have not been able to survive because of overregulation, lack of access to capital, and a drop in net farm income. With the United States economy now flourishing, rural small businesses are finally starting to see the effects and get back on their feet. Through H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and the rollback of numerous regulations by many government agencies, the federal government is working to help rural small businesses survive. This hearing aims to highlight how rural small businesses are faring in today’s economy and the outlook going forward.Attachments
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List
Mr. Pat Woods
Woods Farm Supply, Inc.
Mr. Geoffrey Carter
Founder, President and CEO
Hyperion Technology Group, Inc.
The Committee on Small Business will meet for a hearing titled, “Exploring the State of Western Kentucky’s Small Businesses.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 A.M. (CT) on Monday, June 18, 2018 at the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce, Paducah Bank Room, 300 South 3rd Street, Paducah, KY.
The purpose of the hearing is for Western Kentucky small business leaders to share their experiences and to provide the Committee with recommendations about federal policies that will help them to grow their businesses and create jobs.Attachments
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List
Mr. Bruce Kimbell
First Community Bank of the Heartland
Mr. Leon Owens
Swift & Staley, Inc.
Mr. Edward Musselman
Mr. Jonas Neihoff
MISSISSIPPI – This afternoon, the House Small Business Committee held a field hearing in Southaven, Mississippi to examine issues facing rural small businesses including access to capital, lack of reliable broadband, and finding qualified employees.
Subcommittee Chairman on Investigations, Oversight, and Regulations Trent Kelly (R-MS) said, “Although the economy is getting stronger, rural America is still recovering from the 2008 recession. Today we asked these small business owners to share with us problems they are still facing so we can share them with our colleagues and develop policies to address them. The best ideas don’t flow from Washington to the people, the best ideas flow from the people back to Washington.”
“I thank Subcommittee Chairman Kelly for having me attend this hearing as well and hear first-hand from rural small businesses in North Mississippi. While the economy is doing better thanks to tax cuts and fewer regulations, we can see we still have work to do to help our countries’ small businesses succeed,” said House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH).
Issues and Triumphs in Rural America
“Rural Mississippi is lagging behind in the area of connectivity to the internet. I hear stories on a daily basis of school children that have to come to town to download their homework, business growth hampered by a lack of adequate service, and precision agriculture technology that loses a signal due to a lack of connectivity in their area….I commend the Committee for all the work that has been done to bring broadband to rural America,” said Pat Woods, Owner of Woods Farm Supply in Byhalia, MS.
“As we continue to grow, one of our many challenges is when to invest in another full-time employee. As you can imagine being in the service business as we are, people are critical, but due to some of these government initiatives, we have to hold back from hiring and stretch our people further, and as you know there is a breaking point with personnel, and we don’t want to reach that,” said Jason Bailey, President and CEO of Summit Management Services in Oxford, MS.
“The roll back and benefits from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created significant financial resources available as expendable income to all of customers, which has been realized by 20% growth from the same period last year,” said Michael Hatcher, President of Michael Hatcher & Associates in Olive Branch, MS.
“The tax cuts afforded to us by H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, will make it easier for Hyperion to continue to grow and expand its footprint in both the government and commercial sectors,” said Geoffrey Carter, Founder, President, and CEO of Hyperion Technology Group in Tupelo, MS.
PADUCAH, KENTUCKY—Today, the House Committee on Small Business held a field hearing in Congressman James Comer’s (R-KY) congressional district on the state of Western Kentucky’s small businesses and what recommendations they have about federal policies.
“Small businesses were responsible for 1.9 million net new jobs in 2015 (including more than 17,000 net new jobs in Kentucky),” said Congressman James Comer. “As most of you know, Paducah is a dynamic, fast-growing city that engages its citizens and is recognized as a regional leader on many levels. Paducah is also financially sustainable, maintains quality infrastructure and facilities, and has a thriving river industry. It is a small city with big aspirations that offers great incentives for families and businesses to flourish.”
Hearing from the Heartland
“In order for small businesses to grow they require safe and reliable funding. Community banks focus intensely on small business lending,” said Mr. Bruce Kimbell, President and CEO of First Community Bank of the Heartland in Clinton, KY. “At my bank, as is true of my banker colleagues around the country, we are intensely focused on building and maintaining long-term relationships with our customers. We view our customers not as numbers but as individuals and business owners.”
“Swift & Staley Inc. transitioned from a privately owned company to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) Company in May 2017. We are aggressively looking to expand our service to other federal sectors and locations while maintaining our core competencies and client focus,” said Mr. Leon Owens, President of Swift & Staley Inc. in Paducah, KY. “On behalf of all ESOP small businesses, we would like to thank the Committee for supporting H.R. 5236 (Main Street Employee Ownership Act).”
“If the cost of doing business is less, more will be able to successfully operate a business while providing an adequate living to their family and those that they employ,” said Mr. Edward Musselman, Owner of Musselman Properties in Paducah, KY. “Fewer vacant buildings will strengthen real estate markets. More jobs and more offerings and strong economies will attract addition al residents and businesses.”
“When I first launched Socially Present over 6 years ago, there were several obstacles I ran into but also several resources that helped me get started. The main obstacle was a lack of organized information and the complexity of putting together a business plan,” said Mr. Jonas Neihoff, President of Socially Present in Paducah, KY. “Seeing that need, we launched our own program called “Small Town Big Idea” to help budding entrepreneurs develop their idea to a place where it is ready to launch.”
Click here for full witness testimony.
The Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access will meet for a hearing titled, “Shrinking the Skills Gap: Solutions to the Small Business Workforce Shortage.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 A.M. on Thursday, June 14, 2018 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
This hearing will examine the current small business workforce, and provide an opportunity for small business owners and experts to provide innovative solutions to combat the small business employee shortage.Attachments
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List
Mr. Todd Hitt
Falls Church, VA
Mr. Kelly McCreight
President and CEO
Hamilton-Ryker IT Solutions
*Testifying on behalf of the American Staffing Association
Ms. Angela Dine Schmeisser
President and CEO
St. Marys Foundry, Inc.
St. Marys, OH
WASHINGON—Today, Members of the House Small Business Committee Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access heard from a panel of small business owners and experts on the solutions that exist to combat the small business workforce shortage.
“The American economy is creating jobs at historic rates. Over 1 million jobs have been created so far this year, the unemployment rate is at an 18 year low of 3.8 percent, and there are now more vacant jobs than unemployed job seekers in the United States,” said Subcommittee Chairman Dave Brat (R-VA). “The problem is, when there are 6.6 million job vacancies, small businesses have a particularly difficult time finding and retaining qualified employees.”
Solutions to the Shortage
“I’ve witnessed the devastating effects a labor shortage can have on a business. Quite simply, it means a company cannot grow.… According to the National Federation of Independent Business, in April of this year 22 percent of small businesses said finding qualified workers was their ‘single most important business problem,’” said Mr. Todd Hitt, CEO of Kiddar Capital in Falls Church, VA. “There are several factors that contribute to the nation’s labor shortage: the vast Baby Boomer generation exiting the workforce, declining U.S. birth rates, the opioid epidemic that is gripping our country, and the gap between skills and employer needs.”
“Hamilton-Ryker is a total workforce solution and industry leader for the provision of industrial, administrative, and information technology staffing, as well as recruiting, management consulting, and information technology solutions,” said Mr. Kelly McCreight, President and CEO of Hamilton-Ryker IT Solutions in Nashville, TN. “With the economy at full employment, we’re taking measures to “upskill” the existing workforce—for instance, by taking workers who may have a certain skill set and providing them training to allow them to be promoted or move into another position at a higher wage rate.”
“The shortage of workers is both a result of a retiring workforce and overall growth in the economy and the manufacturing sector, “said Ms. Angela Dine Schmeisser, President and CEO of St. Marys Foundry, Inc. in St. Marys, OH. “Changing public perceptions to match the realities of U.S. manufacturing is critical to addressing the worker shortage in our sector, especially among millennials. Also important is rebuilding a pipeline of potential recruits through high school and career technical programs.”Click HERE to read full testimonies and HERE to watch full hearing video.
The Committee on Small Business will meet for a hearing titled, “The Impact of Category Management on the Small Business Industrial Base.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
This hearing continues the Committee’s longstanding oversight examining the use of contract bundling and consolidation in the federal procurement system. Category management, at its core, can be distilled to contract bundling and consolidation. The hearing will examine the Administration’s approach to utilizing category management principles in the context of past Executive Branch initiatives and will discuss the impact the current approach may have on small businesses and the industrial base.Attachments
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List
Ms. Shirley Bailey
Co-Owner, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
GCC Technologies, LLC
Mr. Alan Chvotkin
Executive Vice President & Counsel
Professional Services Council
Ms. Beth Laurie Strum
Vice President of Business Development
* Testifying on behalf of the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce
Small Business Committee Examines the Impact of Category Management on the Small Business Industrial Base
WASHINGON—Today, Members of the House Small Business Committee examined the Executive Branch’s approach to utilizing Category Management (CM) principles and the impact it may have on small businesses and the industrial base. CM are a set of procurement approaches attempting to eliminate redundancies, increase efficiency, and deliver value all while saving the taxpayers money.
“While Category Management can be useful in tracking the federal government’s purchasing habits in order to identify efficiencies and keep contracting costs down, the proposed plan may be problematic,” said Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH). “There is great concern among the small business community that recent efforts steering spending towards “best-in-class” contracting vehicles will restrict competition and significantly reduce opportunities for the majority of small businesses.”
What the Experts Said
“No one would disagree with the goals of efficient government buying and saving the taxpayer money. However, we believe Category Management comes at a cost,” said Ms. Shirley Bailey, CEO and Managing Member of MSC Management Services, LLC in Oakland, MD, testifying on behalf of the HUBZone Contractors National Council. “Fewer small business awards not only limits the supply of vendors to the government, the ripple effect limits the ability of small businesses to grow through federal contracting.”
“PSC [Professional Services Council] cautioned then [five years ago], and we do so again today, that more needs to be done to prevent unintended consequences on the small and other-than-small companies that are—or that are capable of—meeting the government’s needs,” said Mr. Alan Chvotkin, Executive Vice President and Counsel at the Professional Services Council in Arlington, VA. “Since then, and particularly as CM has transitioned from what began as a management technique into a procurement policy, there have been negative consequences for the supplier base and for the marketplace.”
“In its current form, the Best-in-Class acquisition process picks winners and losers without assuring full and fair competition, thereby locking out thousands of small businesses from the very contract opportunities that were guaranteed to us in 1978 through Public Law 95-507, ‘Amendments to the Small Business Investment Act,’” said Ms. Beth Laurie Strum, Vice President of Business Development at Volanno in Washington, DC, testifying on behalf of the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce. “The abrupt transformation of the federal acquisition process to Best-in-Class vehicles will have a crippling effect on small business competitive opportunities.”
“Many of my small business colleagues have spoken with me directly in terms of the Category Management approach as well as previous strategic sourcing initiatives. Across the board, they are overwhelmingly opposed. Anything that winnows down the ability to compete on a fair and level playing field is challenging across the industrial base,” said Ms. ML Mackey, CEO of Beacon Interactive Systems in Waltham, MA, testifying on behalf of the National Defense Industrial Association. “Getting best in breed products and services as rapidly as possible to the men and women who protect us is of paramount importance. Unfortunately, the contract approach prescribed by Category Management will have an opposite and deleterious effect on this goal.”Click HERE to read full testimonies and HERE to watch full hearing video.
WASHINGTON—Today, House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) released the following statement regarding the agreement the Department of Commerce has made with China-backed telecom giant, ZTE:“The President’s instincts on the threat that ZTE poses to American small businesses and our country have been correct from the start—ZTE is a nefarious actor that seeks to undermine our national security. It is my hope that the President and Secretary Ross will continue to apply as much pressure as possible on ZTE. We must not let ZTE off the hook for continually lying to US officials. ZTE has subverted US law more than once and I believe will do it again. To think that any new deal is going to change ZTE’s intentions is shortsighted. The Administration should stick to its guns."
The Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight, and Regulations will meet for a hearing titled, “Vets First? An Examination of VA’s Resources for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 2:00 P.M. on Thursday, June 7, 2018 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
This hearing will examine the resources for veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Specifically, the hearing will consider the Veterans First Contracting Program and recently proposed changes for procuring medical supplies.Attachments
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List
Mr. Scott Denniston
National Veterans Small Business Coalition
Mr. Davy G. Leghorn
The American Legion
WASHINGTON—Today, Members of the House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight, and Regulations heard testimony from an expert panel of witnesses on the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) resources for veteran-owned small businesses, specifically the Veterans First Contracting Program.
“The Veterans First Contracting Program was established by Congress in 2006 to assist the VA in carrying out their mission of serving America’s veterans,” said Subcommittee Chairman Trent Kelly (R-MS). “However, despite this authority, the VA has continued to impede its own authority and work against the intentions of Congress by creating internal regulations and policies that make it harder to award contracts to veteran-owned small businesses.”
What the Experts are Saying
“Since early in World War II, Congress has recognized and legislated the importance of building and maintaining a small business industrial base for national security,” said Mr. Scott Denniston, Executive Director of the National Veteran Small Business Coalition in Centreville, VA. “Unfortunately, senior VA leadership, culture, and polices do not support the Congressional intent. VA has lost sight of its unique mission to support we who have ‘borne the battle’ and how VA mission outcomes are enhanced by building a veteran-owned small business industrial base.”
“Many American Legion members who are also small business owners agree that VA’s proposals in the J&A [Justification and Approval] would systematically unseat veteran owned small businesses as distributors for manufacturers and give all the selling capabilities to the prime vendors,” said Mr. Davy Leghorn, Assistant Director for the National Veterans Employment and Education Division at The American Legion in Washington DC. “This is bad for veteran-owned small businesses and contrary to The American Legion’s call for a reasonable amount of purchases [to] be set aside for veteran owned small businesses in federal procurement.”
Two service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses also shared their stories of how they contribute to the small business industrial base.
“Alliant Healthcare Products focuses on helping other companies navigate the complexities of the federal market. We assist large and small businesses who provide market-leading and innovative healthcare technologies,” said Mr. Bob Taylor, Founder, Owner, and CEO of Alliant Healthcare Products in Grand Rapids, MI. “Our most important benefit to the government is we do not mark-up prices for the clear majority of the products we sell to the VA. We allow the VA to negotiate fair and reasonable pricing as though they are buying directly from the manufacturer themselves and then we honor those prices.”
“First Nation has been one of the leading suppliers of medical and surgical products to VA for over 30 years. Because we stock so many different products and have extensive experience meeting VA direct-to-patient requirements, we are able to provide VA and our veterans with customized, multi-vendor patient solutions,” said Ms. Cheryl Nilsson, CEO of First Nation Group, LLC in Niceville, FL. “Our representatives also work with VA to deliver unique multi-vendor tailored solutions – no other vendor of sleep therapy products provides this direct and on-site support from trained sleep therapy product representatives.