Reps. Torres Small and Smucker Introduce Legislation to Help Grow Partnerships between DOD and Small Businesses

May 17, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC – Yesterday, Representative Xochitl Torres Small (NM-02) and Representative Lloyd Smucker (PA-11) introduced the bipartisan Defense Small Business Advancement Act, to help connect small businesses in New Mexico and across the country with U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) contracting opportunities.  

This legislation would reauthorize and improve the DoD Mentor-Protégé Program (MPP) that expired last year. This program increases participation of small, disadvantaged businesses performing as suppliers to DoD, civilian agencies, and private industry by encouraging mentorships from established DoD contractors.

 “Small businesses are the backbone of America and are essential to the vibrancy of our local communities. Yet, they’re often shut out of major government contracts, like those at the Department of Defense, because of complicated procurement processes and requirements. By reauthorizing the Department of Defense’s Mentor-Protégé Program, we’re opening the door for New Mexico’s small businesses to partner and learn from already established defense companies. This in turn will create good paying jobs, foster innovation, and grow the economy,” said Rep. Torres Small, a Member of the House Armed Services Committee.

“Small businesses are playing a critical role in driving our current economic growth. Yet these businesses often lack the resources necessary to compete for federal government contracts,” Rep. Smucker said. “Permanently reauthorizing the Department of Defense’s Mentor-Protégé Program will give Pennsylvania’s small businesses a reliable pathway to navigate government red tape through collaborative partnerships with their peers.” 

In the past five years, the DoD Mentor-Protégé Program has successfully helped more than 190 small businesses become part of the military’s supply chain. For every year a small business participated in the program, the average business added 13.4 new, full-time employees to its payroll and earned $7.3 million in additional revenue.

The MPP assists small disadvantaged businesses, which are those that are owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, women, Indian tribes or Alaska Native Corporations, service-disabled veterans, and others as defined by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010.