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Trade Group Advocates For Small Business Office Supply Vendors
Written by Jenna Weiner
An office supply vendor trade group wants changes made to government contracting processes.
The National Office Products Alliance, a trade association for office supply and equipment vendors, has called on President Barack Obama to boost small businesses by changing the federal government's policy regarding office supply procurement.
Passed in 2010, the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative severely limits the number of office supply dealers working with the government, NOPA said on July 1. According to the trade group, in years prior to 2010, more than 500 office supply companies held U.S. General Services Administration contracts allowing them to vie for government business. But now, under FSSI guidelines, most government entities are purchasing only from FSSI-awarded vendors. This has been terrible news for small business, with only 13 small businesses and two large companies contracted since the middle of last year.
NOPA says this detrimental policy toward small business could be mitigated by a Statement of Administration Policy that FSSI is not a mandatory program.
The Small Business Administration recently released numbers showing small businesses were awarded 22.66 percent of prime government contracts in 2010. This amounted to $97.95 billion, and was the greatest single year increase in five years.
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