Small Businesses Win More Than 25% of Federal Contracts

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, shown speaking at an event in Detroit in January, says the department wants to support small businesses. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, shown speaking at an event in Detroit in January, says the department wants to support small businesses. Paul Sancya/Associated Press

In awarding $91 billion in small business contracts in fiscal 2015, agencies exceeded their mandatory goal and steered 25.75 percent to eligible small businesses—topping the target for the third straight year, the Small Business Administration reported on Thursday.

Following a March preview announcing that agencies had set records for contracts to women-owned small businesses, the SBA’s new scorecard gives the government as a whole an “A” for achieving the highest-ever proportion of contracts to small businesses.

“These accomplishments wouldn’t be possible without the help of the agency Office of Small Disadvantaged Business Utilization directors and senior leaders throughout the federal government,” said John Shoraka, associate administrator for government contracting and business development.

“Thanks to the president’s continued leadership and a team effort among all federal agencies, we were able to break records and expand contracting opportunities for women-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned and small disadvantaged businesses.”

The announcement was timed to kick off next week’s celebration of National Small Business Week, Shoraka added. “We want to encourage every part of the federal government to do business with small enterprises in the communities where we live and work.” 

The scorecard showed that five agencies’ grades increased from those of fiscal 2014; 16 agencies’ grades stayed the same; and 3 agencies’ grades decreased. Three agencies received an A-plus (the General Services Administration, the Transportation Department and the SBA itself). Eighteen agencies received A’s and three received B’s. None received lower grades.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement: “Seven years of ‘A’ ratings reflect how seriously we take our commitment to small businesses, to promoting jobs, and to increasing access to opportunity for millions of Americans. The message to local businesses across the country is to join us, because we want to work with you.”

Also making an A for the past seven years was the Homeland Security Department. “I commend the hard work and dedication of the men and women across DHS who work to include small businesses in our acquisitions whenever possible,” said DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson. “I look forward to continued success in this area and remain committed to partnering with small businesses to fulfill our vital DHS mission.”

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