McDuffie Introduces Bill to Create Small Business Bonding Program

Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie Introduces Bill to Create Small Business Bonding Program to Help Business Enterprises Compete for Contracts

Program would assist eligible small business owners who have historically been unable to qualify for bonding by providing training and technical assistance to increase their bonding capacity

Washington, DC – Today, Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie, Chair of the Committee on Business and Economic Development introduced the Small Business Bonding Program Establishment Amendment Act of 2018. District of Columbia law requires contractors to obtain a performance and payment bond for certain contracts. Contractors work with sureties to ensure they are qualified to enter into the contract, often having their credit, capacity, financial standing, and character reviewed through a rigorous underwriting process. This legislation establishes a program within the Department of Small and Local Business Development to provide training and technical assistance to eligible business owners to increase their bonding capacity.

With introduction of this legislation, Councilmember McDuffie said:

“While many Small Business Enterprises (SBEs) are more than capable of doing the work, many have historically struggled to provide the financial resources necessary to secure bonding or to increase their bonding limits to compete for higher dollar contracts.

Without action, there will continue to be a revolving door of contracts being awarded to the same firms. In addition, SBEs will continue to experience difficulty in winning bids for construction projects or being included as subcontractors because they simply cannot secure the required bonding.

A robust training and education program is critical to increase small business participation rates in construction and to satisfy District small business contracting participation goals. Through this program, firms will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to overcome barriers to securing bonding and in the process contribute to economic growth and job creation across the District.”

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