The Small Business Administration says the federal government spent a record amount of money on small business-primed contracts in Fiscal 2008. The amount totaled 93.3-billion-dollars. However, as a percentage of the total amount awarded, small business contracts declined a bit, from 21.5 percent from 22 percent. That’s short of the 23-percent goal for small business spending set by law.
The Department of Defense is by far the largest spender with small business. Total for Fiscal 2008 amounted to over 62.4-billion-dollars. While that number was up seven-percent from the previous year, DoD failed to meet its goal of 22.24% spending with small business.
The next largest small business spenders were the Veterans Administration, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Health and Human Services, and the Agriculture Department. All four met their small business spending goals. (The links take you to the agency small business scorecards; a master list of all federal agencies can be found here.)
Scores were also given for other categories such as: Small Business Disadvantaged, 8(A), Veteran Owned, Service Disabled Veteran Owned, Women Owned, and Hubzones (underutilized business areas). Details can be found here. General Services Administration is the only federal agency to meet its goals in all categories, in fact exceeded them and improved from the previous year.
The federal government is a growing area of opportunity for small businesses. Federal law will make sure it continues to be so. However, federal buyers are not push-overs, even when trying to reach their mandated goals. As we’ve said many times before, it takes understanding their pain and process and presenting a strong value proposition.