The Associated Press is looking at the positions that President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney have taken on small business issues. The AP submitted questions to both candidates' campaign staffs. Here's where they stand on finding ways for small businesses to win more federal contracts:
BACKGROUND: Winning more federal contracts has been an issue for small businesses for decades. Federal law calls for 23 percent of contract dollars to go to small businesses. Data for fiscal 2010, the most recent numbers available, showed that small businesses received 22.7 percent of those dollars, up from 21.9 percent in 2009.
A bill in Congress would raise that amount to 25 percent. One of the most important issues is what's known as bundling. That's the practice of awarding a contract to a large company with the expectation that that company will turn around and subcontract to small businesses. Critics of bundling say small businesses don't get as many of these subcontracts as they should because of burdensome paperwork, favoritism and fraud. The Romney campaign has pointed to requirements that union workers be used on large federal construction contracts and the rule that workers on construction projects costing more than $2,000 must be paid at least the same amount as workers on similar projects in the area. The wage requirement is mandated under the David-Bacon and Related Acts.
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