Small businesses rack up record fed contracts in 2009

SBA score card shows dollar gains in all categories

Small businesses won a record $96.8 billion in federal prime contracts in fiscal 2009, an increase of more than $3 billion from 2008 numbers, according to the Small Business Administration’s fourth annual score card released today.

That amount represents 21.89 percent of all federal spending — an improvement over fiscal 2008 but just shy of the federal target of 23 percent.

The annual score card is an assessment tool to measure how well federal agencies reach their small-business and socioeconomic prime-contracting and subcontracting goals; provide accurate and transparent contracting data; and report agency-specific progress, according to SBA's announcement.

The prime and subcontracting goals include targets for small businesses, small woman-owned businesses, small disadvantaged businesses, small businesses owned by service-disabled veterans, and small businesses in Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZones).

SBA graded 24 agencies on each of the individual prime-contracting goals established by Congress and used a new A-plus through F letter grade system to provide greater clarity and transparency, SBA officials said.

Among the individual categories:

  • Small disadvantaged businesses won $33.5 billion in federal contracts, or 7.57 percent of the total.
  • Woman-owned small businesses won $16.3 billion or 3.68 percent.
  • HUBZone companies had $12.4 billion in federal contracts for 2.41 percent of the total.
  • Small businesses owned by service-disabled veterans accounted to $8.8 billion or 1.98 percent.

“There was an increase in both dollars and contracting share for every small-business category,” SBA Administrator Karen Mills said in the announcement. "This represents real progress, but not enough. We must reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that the 23 percent goal is met and exceeded."

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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