Veterans Business Resources

a portal for all Veterans and SDV Small Business Owners

Parity in Contracting: What Does That Really Mean?

Parity; the American Heritage Dictionary gives us a rather lengthy definition, but when it all comes right down to it, parity simply means “Equality, as in amount, status or value.”  All the federal contracting programs are now on a level playing field.  Everything is equal.  If that is true, why then are there different contracting goals for each program?  The HUBZone Small Business contracting goal is 3%, the 8(a) BD Small Business contracting goal is 5%, the Women-Owned Small Business contracting goal is 5% and the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business contracting goal is 3%. 

By assigning different “values” to different programs, we are regulating the “amount” of growth and prosperity businesses within those respective programs can achieve.  Is that parity?  Parity in contracting really only means there is parity in the language governing the use and selection of those federal programs.  In essence, the language has changed from “shall” in ONE program to “may” in ALL programs.  Language really does matter.  There will be more on that topic later.   

From my perspective, “parity in contracting” is a distraction, a ruse played on the Small Business community yet again.  Parity in contracting signals increased infighting among members of the federal contracting programs as they jockey for position prior to contract awards.  Small Businesses with any of the federal designations remain very attractive to large business and others that understand the power, significance and leverage of certifications.  

How many ways and how many times are we going to slice the 23% share of work supposedly coming to the Small Business community?  Instead of infighting among members of the Small Business community over a greater share of the juvenile 23% federal contracting goal, let’s increase that amount to oh let’s say 46%.  Let’s really create “Parity” in contracting by further leveling of the playing field.  Let’s give more Americans the opportunity to achieve and live out the American Dream.  Small Business is the engine that drives this country and our economy will continue to sputter until we properly and fairly address the issue of “Parity in Contracting.”  Just some random thoughts.  What do you think?

See you on the high ground!


Filed under: Registrations & Certifications,

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