St. Louis Public Radio News
1:22 pm
Mon April 28, 2003

Talent Hopes to Level Playing Field for Small Business

St. Louis – U.S. Senator Jim Talent, R-Mo., says the federal government needs to pay more attention to small businesses when awarding defense and construction contracts.

On Monday morning, Talent toured ABNA Engineering, a minority-owned firm in St. Louis' Central West End.

He says government agencies like the Department of Defense often "bundle" many small contracts into large ones, effectively pushing small firms out of the bidding process.

"There is, I guess for lack of a better word, an old boy network out there in the bureaucracy," Talent said. "Part of it is a lack of sensitivity to the pulsating, efficient firms out there that can do the work and lower the cost to the taxpayers."

The Senator says he plans to introduce legislation that would make it harder for the Defense Department to bundle large contracts.

Talent also praised President Bush's tax cut plan, saying it will help small businesses.