Deputy Assistant Secretary Testifies Before House Small Business Committee
Last month, Mr. Joel Szabat, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, testified before the House Small Business Committee outlining the benefits of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to small businesses in the transportation sector. Mr. Szabat especially notes the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) success in working with small businesses via two specific vehicles: the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program and direct contracting through the small business program.
Mr. Szabat informed the Committee that in 2008 alone, DOT spent over $1.7 billion in direct contracting to small businesses, led by the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU). Furthermore, DOT let over $30 billion in contracting and subcontracting opportunities through formula and grant funds to small businesses. DBEs alone were awarded $3.3 billion in contracts.
A top priority for DOT is working with state transportation agencies to monitor the distribution and implementation of $35 billion in ARRA appropriated infrastructure funds. Mr. Szabat anticipates that this, in turn, will generate an additional $3 billion in contracting opportunities to DBEs.
Mr. Szabat’s testimony states that OSDBU will have a significant role coordinating the effort to disseminate information about funding for small businesses and DBEs. This will include continued efforts through OSDBU’s current out-reach methods, such as Small Business Transportation Resource Centers (SBTRCs) and attending the National Veterans Conference, sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
For more information about DOT’s past and future work with small businesses, please read the full transcript of Mr. Szabat’s testimony at http://www.house.gov/smbiz/hearings/hearing-3-12-09-stimulus-contracting/Szabat.pdf.
Additionally, you may view video clips from Mr. Szabat’s testimony online: