July 10, 2014

Udall Proposal Would Help New Mexico Small Businesses Diversify, Expand and Create New Jobs

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Tom Udall today introduced a bill to help small business federal government contractors in New Mexico and across the country access the tools, training and hands-on help necessary to diversify their businesses and create jobs.

The American Diversification and Progress in Trade (ADAPT) Act of 2014 creates a pilot program at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) that will help small business contractors find new customers and grow into new markets. By improving small businesses' access to tools, strategies and hands-on help about diversification, and removing barriers that make it harder to break into large company supply chains, the program will empower small businesses to better compete for private sector dollars.

"Small businesses are the foundation of New Mexico's economy and make up 96 percent of our employers, and I'm committed to helping reduce unnecessary barriers so entrepreneurs can thrive. My ADAPT Act offers small businesses another set of tools to find new customers, expand their business and create good-paying jobs for hardworking New Mexicans," Udall said.

Small businesses are a driving force behind economic growth and job creation in New Mexico and across the nation. More than half of all working Americans own or work for a small business, and small businesses are responsible for over two thirds of the net new private sector jobs created over the past decade. As part of its core mission, the SBA works to generate small business growth and create jobs, in part by promoting federal contracts to small businesses. Udall's ADAPT Act would help create jobs and new opportunities for New Mexicans by ensuring that businesses that rely upon federal dollars have the tools to move forward and continue to expand into developing markets.

Specifically, the bill would:
- Create a toolkit that includes best practices, strategies and other information on expanding and diversifying the customer base of small business contractors;
- Allow small businesses across the country to benefit from American Supplier Initiative, which removes barriers that small businesses face in trying to break into large company supply chains;
- Develop a website for businesses that contract with the federal government to help them easily access information on expanding and diversifying their customer base.

The ADAPT Act has garnered endorsements from major business groups in New Mexico, including the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce and the Los Alamos National Laboratory Major Subcontractor Consortium.

"Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and major contributors to job growth in New Mexico," said Terri Cole, president and CEO of the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce. "Senator Udall's American Diversification and Progress in Trade Act will help ensure that small businesses in New Mexico that rely on federal contracts have the resources and information they need to succeed and grow."

"The LANL Major Subcontractor's Consortium strongly supports the proposed ADAPT Act," said Liddie Martinez, president of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Major Subcontractor Consortium (LANL MSC). "Senator Udall's consistent advocacy of small business is greatly appreciated. Too many small businesses, especially in rural areas such as Northern New Mexico, are extremely dependent on a few government contracts and are frequently hurt when government spending dramatically changes or stops. It is critical that these businesses diversify and become less dependent on sales to the government and the measures proposed in this bill will assist in the diversification goal."

For text of Udall's ADAPT Act, click HERE.