Friday, June 24, 2011

Small Businesses Win a Record $97.95 Billion in Federal Prime Contracts

After reviewing the Small Business Administration’s fifth annual Small Business Procurement Scorecard, United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair Mary L. Landrieu [D-La., pictured] and Ranking Member Olympia J. Snowe [R-Maine] today commented on the federal government’s effort to increase federal contracting opportunities among small businesses.

According to the most recent scorecard, in fiscal year 2010, small businesses won nearly $100 billion in federal prime contracts -- an increase of more than $1 billion from 2009. Small businesses were awarded 22.66 percent of all federal spending in FY2010 -- less than half a percentage point shy of the statutory 23 percent goal.

"Over the course of one year, we saw nearly $100 billion go into the hands of America’s small businesses, and I am pleased to see the ever-increasing role of small businesses in the federal government contracting process," said Sen. Landrieu. "With the passage of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 last fall, we put in place ways to significantly improve these numbers, and I hope this report will be the last steppingstone to reaching our small-business contracting goals.

"The report confirmed an overall increase in small-business contracting for the second consecutive year, but the federal government still fell short of meeting their goal in many categories -- including prime contracting awards for women-owned small businesses, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, and Historically Underutilized Business Zones [HUBZones]. We continue to see room for improvement, and I am confident they are on the right track to reaching and surpassing these goals."

"Small businesses are the primary job creators in this country, responsible for more than two-thirds of all new jobs created," noted Sen. Snowe. "At a time when a staggering and seemingly intractable unemployment rate of over nine percent has become the norm -- with 22 million Americans unemployed or underemployed, and when we are experiencing the longest period of long-term unemployment in American history since data collection started in 1948 -- I remain dismayed that, yet again, the federal government has failed to meet its statutory government-wide goal -- not just for small business, but for women, HUBZones, and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses.

"Reports show that small businesses lost an estimated $2 trillion in profits and asset valuation since the recession started in December 2007, while larger companies have been less affected and are recovering more quickly. Given these statistics, it is all the more paramount that small businesses have the opportunity to contract with federal agencies, and anything other than meeting these goals is simply unacceptable.

"For small firms that are struggling to stay afloat and maintain their workforce, federal contracting can be an instrumental part of a larger strategy for broadening their customer base and creating jobs and, although the numbers have improved, this Administration can, and must, do better."

About SBA's Small Business Procurement Scorecard
The FY2010 Scorecard calculated the amount of federal spending for prime contracting and subcontracting to small businesses for fiscal year 2010 [Oct. 1, 2009-Sept. 30, 2010], and evaluated agencies to ensure these firms remain an integral part of the federal contracting process.

SBA graded 24 agencies on each of the individual prime contracting goals established by Congress, and used an "A+" through "F" letter-grade system.

The federal government scored an overall average of 99.2 percent -- with 99.73 percent prime contracting achievement, and 94.50 percent subcontracting achievement.

Ten agencies’ grades increased from FY 2009, 10 agencies’ grades stayed the same, and four agencies’ grades decreased. The agency breakdown is as follows:
* 13 agencies received an "A"
* Five agencies received a "B"
* Four agencies received a "C"
* Two agencies received a "D"

Overall, SBA Administrator Karen Mills was optimistic about the Scorecard results. "When the federal government gets contracts into the hands of small businesses, it is a 'win-win' situation," she noted. "Small businesses have the opportunity to grow and create jobs, and the federal government gets access to some of the most innovative and nimble entrepreneurs.

"We are proud of the achievement the government has made [in small-business procurement], but are determined that the government will meet and exceed the goal. SBA is focused on a number of key initiatives to help increase small-business contracting opportunities, as well as combat fraud, waste or abuse. These efforts will ensure the benefits of our programs continue to go to the intended recipients."

The SBA's full Small Business Procurement Scorecard can be viewed here:

SOURCES: U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, U.S. Small Business Administration

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