A proud legacy

The record of small businesses in the government market is a long and distinguished one. We honor that legacy in this, our annual small-business special report issue.

We built our coverage around two lists: the Fast 50, which ranks companies by their revenue growth over five years, and the Top 25 8(a)s, which ranks companies by their prime contracting dollars in fiscal 2005.

The story lines around these lists take two tacks. One is that small businesses experience tremendous success in the government market. Through a combination of procurement programs, agility and innovation, these companies have many opportunities for growth.

They also face tremendous challenges deriving from tight government budgets, procurement practices that are inconsistent from one agency to the next, and lingering prejudice against small businesses.

Ethan Butterfield leads our coverage with an examination of the good and the bad of small-business contracting practices, and Roseanne Gerin digs into the companies' substance and what has been driving their growth.

The package also includes analysis by Gary Arlen, who writes our "Making the Team" column. He combed through past columns to distill a compendium of advice and tips on finding the right large-business partner.

For more on small businesses and the government, check our online edition of the report. Not only are this year's lists and articles available, but those from previous years as well.

I think you'll find this issue a great tool, not only for tracking the evolution, but also for divining insights into the wellspring of success of some of the most dynamic companies in our market.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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