The Small Business Administration (SBA), and the General Services Administration (GSA) have launched a joint effort to help small disadvantaged businesses (SBD) gain access to more Federal contracts in GSA’s Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Program.

The MAS Pool Initiative will establish a pool of firms – specifically participating in the 8(a) Business Development Program – to make it easier for procurement officials to locate and contract with small, disadvantaged businesses across industries.

Participants in the initiative will receive a designation that indicates to agency buyers that a business is eligible for 8(a) sole source awards and competitive set-asides. Federal agencies will be able to leverage the size and scale of the MAS marketplace to achieve their small disadvantaged businesses’ contracting goals while they make smart purchasing decisions.

“This joint initiative between the SBA and GSA will increase Federal contracting opportunities for thousands of minority-owned and other small, disadvantaged businesses, highlighting the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to equity in procurement and delivering against President Biden’s ambitious goal,” SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, said in a press release.

According to the agencies, the joint effort to implement improvements in Federal contracting is guided by the executive order to Advance Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.

The new initiative builds on the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to provide greater access to Federal contracting for socially and economically disadvantaged businesses, creating new avenues for more minority-owned small businesses to compete in the Federal marketplace.

“We know that America’s diverse small business communities provide tremendous value to our government and to taxpayers,” said GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan. “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.”

Federal agencies will be able to place 8(a) directed awards once the MAS Solicitation is refreshed and the MAS 8(a) companies are in the pool, beginning later this year.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.