U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., the chairman of the U.S. Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, is urging the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to quickly distribute SBA Small Business Development Center and Women’s Business Center Associations grants.
On Friday, Rubio and U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Mary., the top Democrat on the committee, sent a letter to SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza on the matter.
“These grants would establish a much needed centralized online platform that consolidates available federal resources for small businesses,” Rubio’s office noted.
The full text of the letter is below.
Dear Administrator Carranza:
We write to urge the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to allow all procurements required to expeditiously fulfill the grant requirements outlined in Section 1103(c) of the CARES Act to be administered by noncompetitive award due to the immediate need for these resources.
Section 1103(c) of the CARES Act authorizes the SBA to administer grants to an association or associations representing Small Business Development Centers and Women’s Business Centers for the purpose of establishing a single centralized online platform that consolidates available federal resources for small businesses and a training program to educate small business counselors on those available resources. Prompt access to this guidance is vital to ensure small businesses are able to access the federal resources necessary for the survival of their firms. Considering the immense impact that small businesses have on the United States economy, it is the position of the Committee that delays in administering these grants would result in significant economic injury and damage.
Section 200.320(f) of Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations allows for procurement by noncompetitive proposals when “the public exigency or emergency for the requirement will not permit a delay resulting from competitive solicitation.” Given the president’s March 2020 declaration of a National Emergency due to the COVID-19 outbreak and emergent need for these services, it is our position that a noncompetitive procurement process is justified.
We ask that you take immediate steps to allow for the expeditious administration of these grants and the resources they establish. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.