Mark Van Scyoc/

Small Business Group Renews Suit Challenging SBA’s Goal Claims

At issue is the methodology for defining a small business in agency contracting.

The small but vocal American Small Business League this week continued its long-standing challenge to the Small Business Administration’s claims that agencies are meeting their statutory goals in awarding contracts to qualified small businesses. 

In an appeal filed in the Ninth Circuit Court in San Francisco, the group’s attorney’s challenged a May ruling in the case naming SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet and seeking “injunctive and other appropriate relief” to prevent the SBA from “continuing to misrepresent the attainment of small business contracting goals to Congress and the American public.”

The league has long charged that definitions used by the SBA have allowed many large Fortune 500 companies through subsidiaries to win contracts intended as set-asides for qualified small firms.

“Small Businesses are legally entitled to 23 percent of the total federal contracting acquisition budget, which is currently $1.2 trillion,” a league spokesman said. “However, the SBA is only allotting small business 23 percent of $352 billion, resulting in a small business loss of over $180 billion.”

The league’s president, Lloyd Chapman, argues that using the total federal acquisition budget in calculating the correct percentage of federal contracts awarded to small businesses would raise the small business share to 23 percent of more than $1 trillion.

Asked for comment, an SBA spokesman said, “We stand by the ruling of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.” 

Image via Mark Van Scyoc/