The SBA’s FY2019 Small Business Procurement Scorecard came out recently and revealed some interesting trends in the dollars and cents of small business contracting. While there are a lot of positives for small businesses, not all the numbers are great. Read on for the details!
As a reminder, Congress has set goals for federal agencies to award contracts and subcontracts to small businesses under 15 U.S.C. § 644(g). The Scorecard tracks how the federal government as whole, and individual agencies, are accomplishing those goals.
First, the great news is that contracts awarded to small businesses were at $132.9 billion in fiscal year 2019, eclipsing last year’s total of $120.8 billion in prime contracts. This represented 26.5% of overall contracting and exceeded the goal of 23%.
The federal government met its goals for a number of other small business contracting programs too.
- Women Owned Small Businesses earned 5.19% of federal contracts or $26 billion, exceeding the 5% goal.
- Small Disadvantaged Businesses in the 8(a) Program earned 10.29% of federal contracts, or $51.6 billion, well exceeding the goal of 5%
- Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses exceeded the 3% goal with 4.39% of federal awards, or $22 billion.
Unfortunately, one socioeconomic contracting group did not meet its goal– the HUBZone Program. The goal was 3%, but awards to HUBZone businesses only constituted 2.28% of total contracts, or $11.4 billion.
Interestingly, the number of contractors in the top 100 NAICS codes actually fell from 2018 to 2019 for most small business categories, including overall small business, WOSB, 8(a), and SDVOSB. The only category that increased the number of contractors was the HUBZone program. As mentioned in a previous post, this continues a trend that we discussed earlier towards concentrating the number of small business contractors, as higher dollars go to fewer contractors.
Clearly, there is a lot to be happy about for small business contractors. For small businesses and most socioeconomic categories, spending has gone up. However, more can be done to meet HUBZone contracting goals, especially when there are more contractors than before. Also concerning is the drop in the number of small business contractors, and those in the socieconomic categories other than HUBZone. There’s definitely room for more small business contractors to compete for these set-aside dollars!
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