Washington, D.C., June 4, 2015 – Small businesses in the design and construction sector, which accounts for 22 full-time jobs for every $1 million invested, would be better able to compete for federal work with Congressional passage of H.R. 1429, the Stronger Voice for Small Business Act, a leading small business architect testified Thursday.
Testifying before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Small Business, Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce, Ronald M. Reim, AIA, Executive Vice President and a founding principal of St. Louis, Mo., based Oculus Inc., said that H.R. 1429 would increase opportunities for small architectural firms by allowing them to challenge size standards decisions in the Small Business Administration (SBA)’s Office of Hearings and Appeals, rather than through a lengthy and expensive legal process. You can read his full testimony here: http://www.aia.org/aiaucmp/groups/public/documents/pdf/aiab106612.pdf
In 2011 the SBA proposed a radical transformation of its small business definitions by combining architecture and engineering firms together in the definition, imposing a single, massive size standard that – for purposes of small business “set asides” - would have included all but a small percentage of architecture firms in its classification of “small business.” The rule would have dramatically increased competition among firms for an ever shrinking pool of available work, hurting a sector of the economy that produces the most jobs.
In 2012, the AIA was instrumental in getting Congress to pass the Small Business Protection Act, which limited the SBA’s ability to lump together disparate industries into a single size standard. The AIA was also able to convince the SBA to modify its original proposal. However, the SBA can still modify its size standards without a timely review process.
“A number of external factors have already driven up the costs of doing business for the architectural profession as a whole; modifications to the SBA size standards would greatly exacerbate these problems and elevate the challenges we face to an untenable level,” Rein testified. “Therefore, as the SBA conducts its five-year detailed review of these standards, we ask that the SBA follow the letter and intent of the 2012 law, and ensure that any adjustments made reflect current market conditions.”
About The American Institute of Architects
Founded in 1857, the American Institute of Architects consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders, and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org.