Del. Michael San Nicolas, who is running for reelection, announced Tuesday he has introduced H.R. 7986, also called the Native Chamorro Equity Act.
The legislation would create a means to identify qualified Native CHamoru companies as 8(a) firms eligible for federal set-aside, sole-source, and general contracts, the delegate stated.
The 8(a) Program offers assistance to firms that are owned and controlled at least 51% by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
A set-aside contract is a contract in which only certain contractors may compete, whereas a sole-source award is a contract awarded without competition.
In fiscal 2019, 8(a) firms were awarded $30.3 billion in federal contracts, including $9.5 billion in 8(a) set-aside awards and $9.3 billion in 8(a) sole-source awards.
The Minority Small Business and Capital Ownership Development Program, commonly known as the 8(a) Program, is limited to eligible businesses unconditionally owned and controlled by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged groups to include recognized Indian Tribes, Native Hawaiian Organizations, and Alaska Native Corporations.
"Expanding Guam 8(a) eligibility specifically for recognized Native Chamorro firms will help new and existing businesses compete for federal contracts that otherwise may have been awarded to firms with their own non-Chamorro Native preferences," stated San Nicolas in a press release. "Alaskan Native Corporations have been directly 8(a) recognized since 1992, Native Hawaiian Organizations since 1988; here at home and across America, Native Chamorros deserve the equal opportunity afforded to other Native peoples in America," San Nicolas continued.
"With the introduction of H.R. 7986 we will provide equal access for our people for Native consideration in federal contracts, help them become more competitive for billions of dollars in 8(a) contracting opportunities, and direct more money into supporting native programs on Guam," he added.