The NAMC 2016 Congressional Breakfast was held on Capitol Hill on September 15, 2016 at the Rayburn House Office Building. Representatives who attended the breakfast and addressed NAMC’s issues and concerns were Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA); who spoke about the need for small business banking reform; Rep. Hank C. Johnson, Jr. (D-GA), who addressed government contracting with respect to rebuilding the infrastructure; Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA), debt ceiling and its impact on small businesses; and Rick Allen (R-GA), a former construction company owner, who acknowledged the lack of loan options for small contractors in the industry. NAMC long-time supporters Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC) and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) also weighed in on the issue of minority contracting. Other congressional representatives also voiced their support for the DBE program.
On Friday, September 16, Wendell Stemley, NAMC President, was invited to host Breaking the Color Barrier in Military Contracting, a panel sponsored by Congressman Hank C. Johnson, Jr. at the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, DC. The panel consisted of various government and industry representatives who assembled to provide an opportunity for minority- and women-owned small businesses to learn how to navigate the procurement process and market their businesses in the lucrative arena of defense contracts.
Small business participation options along with NAMC recommendations included better tracking of both prime and subcontractor flow down requirements for small businesses and minority participation. We also recommend that Federal agencies offer “FAST PAY” to small business contractors.
NAMC also suggested small businesses support Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez’s call for stronger compliance and oversight of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Small Business program within federal contracting and Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici’s bill, H.R. 3175, to increase the government-wide procurement goals for small disadvantaged businesses, women-owned businesses, service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, and HUB ZONE (historically underutilized business zone) small businesses. Congressional support is needed for legislative bills.