Feds Hit Small Business Contracting Target, But Miss Mark on Women

2016 Small Business Procurement Scorecard

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) earlier in May reported that the federal government is meeting its annual targeted goals of awarding small business contracts. However, the feds missed the mark on contracts awarded to women entrepreneurs.

2016 Small Business Procurement Scorecard

U.S. Government Small Business Contracting Goals

According to the latest SBA Procurement Scorecard (PDF), which summarizes federal small business contracting efforts for fiscal Year 2016 (FY16), the federal government surpassed its statutory goal of awarding 23 percent of contracts to small businesses. The government awarded small businesses 24.34 percent of its federal contracts to small businesses in FY16, the agency reports. That’s an percentage totaling $99.96 billion in contracts — an increase of over $9 billion from FY15.

This is the fourth year in a row the government has achieved its target for small business federal contracts. Washington hit the mark for small business contracting for the first time in 8 years back in 2014.

“I am pleased to report that for the fourth year in a row, the federal government has exceeded its small business contracting goal,” said Linda McMahon, SBA Administrator, in an official release. “It is a win-win for federal agencies to get small business contracts into the hands of the innovative small business owners that create jobs in their communities and help to fuel the nation’s economy.”

But while the government met the goal for contracts awarded to women entrepreneurs last year, it missed the mark this year on all prime contracts awarded to women-owned small businesses.

Federal Government Misses Contracting Goals for Women Entrepreneurs

For women entrepreneurs, the contracting goal in FY16 was 5 percent. The government managed 4.79 percent, representing $19.67 billion. Federal agencies, however, exceeded their subcontracting goals for women-owned and small disadvantaged businesses. Meanwhile, the federal government achieved its highest ever percentage of contract dollars awarded to Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned (SDVO) small businesses: 3.98 percent for a total of $16.34 billion in contracts.

Federal government contracting goals are measured as a percentage of all government contract awarded. The SBA serves as the champion for small businesses, publishing scorecards showing whether the government as a whole and individual agencies meet their small business contracting goals.

The American Small Business League has disputed the SBA’s annual Small Business Procurement Scorecard, saying the SBA has been “falsifying” the government’s 23 percent target compliance by using inaccurate budgeting figures.  Still, the SBA scorecard provides a good starting point to figure out the state of federal small business contracting in the country.

Overall, SBA graded seven federal agencies A+, 11 received a grade of A, four received a grade of B and one agency received a grade of C. A+ represents the highest score of at least 120 percent.

US Capitol Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Feds Hit Small Business Contracting Target, But Miss Mark on Women” was first published on Small Business Trends

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