Robert Stewart: Defense Department Wants 10-Year Extension of Small Business Mentor-Protege Program

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ContractSigningThe Defense Department is seeking a 10-year extension of its small business mentoring program in an effort to help small enterprises compete for defense contracts, DoD News reported Thursday.

Claudette Roulo writes the Small Business Mentor-Protege Program, initiated in 1991, remains in the pilot program category.

Robert Stewart, the program manager, told DoD News the program requires reauthorization through a National Defense Authorization Act every few years.

“Whenever we’re about a year, year and a half out from an authorization — since it’s a pilot program and it’s still crafted in language as a pilot program — industry does what’s called a chilling-off,” Stewart told the publication.

Stewart said the DoD intends for the extension to stabilize the program and reduce department cost, according to the report.

Under the program, larger companies provide training and mentorship to small businesses for up to three years and in turn receive credit toward their small business contracting goals, Stewart told DoD News.

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