Small, disadvantaged businesses to gain access to increased federal contracting

A new initiative to increase federal contracting with small, disadvantaged businesses was announced Thursday by the Biden-Harris Administration. 

The 8(a) MAS Pool Initiative is a joint effort by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to help small, disadvantaged businesses (SDBS) in the 8(a) Business Development Program gain access to additional federal contracts in GSA’s Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Program. 

By establishing a pool of 8(a) firms, procurement officials will find it easier to locate and contract with SBDs across industries. The joint initiative between the SBA and GSA is aimed at increasing federal contracting opportunities for minority-owned and other small, disadvantaged businesses. 

Participants accepted into the 8(a) MAS Pool will receive a designation indicating to buyers that the business is eligible for awards. Federal agencies can then leverage the size and scale of the MAS marketplace to achieve their contracting goals. 

“We know America’s diverse small business communities provide tremendous value to our government and to taxpayers,” said GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan said in a press release. “We’re excited about this new pool that will make it easier for federal acquisition professionals to find them, buy from them, help them create jobs, and advance agency missions across government.” 

Guided by an executive order advancing racial equity and support for underserved communities, the MAS Pool will seek to create new avenues for minority-owned small businesses to compete in the marketplace. 

The 8(a) Business Development Program provides opportunities for socially and economically disadvantaged participants to develop and grow their businesses, create wealth, and generate jobs in underserved communities. Business development training with SBA’s district teams is part of the program, along with one-on-one counseling, business workshops, and management and technical guidance.