As many of our followers know, we at Supplierty News support small business. In addition, we have constantly reported the issue of the correct definition of a small business and how large companies sometimes take advantage, in particular as it pertains to government contracts. Well it appears that, one large company has been caught in the act and this news outlet couldn’t be happier.
According to Government Executive, “a company that rents tents and other outdoor structures for events agreed to pay the government $7.8 million to settle charges that it wrongly won Defense Department set-aside contracts reserved for small businesses. Arena Americas, which does business from multiple locations as Arena Event Services, settled after a False Claims Act investigation conducted by the Army Criminal Investigation Command, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the inspector general of the Small Business Administration.”
To begin, I want to give praise to the government for catching on to this charade and punishing the culprit. For a small business, expanding its capabilities from government opportunities can be key and result in an increase in jobs. When this is taken away not only do small businesses suffer, but the community in which they inhabit suffer as well.
“As a result of this scheme, which was perpetuated at Fort Stewart, Ga., and at other military installations across the United States, millions of dollars in defense contracts wrongfully were awarded to Arena Americas instead of legitimate small businesses,” said Bobby Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, in a statement. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office will not tolerate any attempts to illegally exploit the system for a company’s personal advantage” in obtaining the set-asides that Congress intended as a tool to help grow small businesses.
While this is a good catch, I do believe that this happens far too often. Hopefully this is the first step in discouraging large corporations from trying to win business that is meant to spur economic growth for smaller entities.