Small Business Milestone: Federal Government Awards More Than $100B in Contracts to Small Businesses in 2017

June 15, 2018

The Small Business Administration (SBA) announced in May 2018 that federal agencies exceeded their mandatory goal of awarding 23% of their contracts to qualified small businesses for the fifth year in a row. In the fiscal year 2017, agencies awarded 23.88% in federal contract dollars to small businesses. While this is a slight drop from last year’s 24.34%, total dollars awarded rose by $5 billion, totaling $105.7 billion. This is the first time more than $100 billion in prime contracts has been awarded to small businesses.

In another first, the federal government earned an overall “A” on this year’s government-wide annual scorecard, which measures prime contracts to women-owned small businesses (WOSB), small disadvantaged businesses, service-disabled-veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSB), and small businesses located in Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone). The government continued to exceed its prime contracting goals of 5% for small disadvantaged businesses and 3% for SDVOSB firms, with achievements of 9.1% and 4.05%, respectively. Even though contract awards WOSB and HUBZone small businesses fell short again, contract spend in dollars increased in all socio-economic categories.

The federal government awarded 31.4% in small business subcontracts, just missing its subcontracting goal of 31.95%. However, the government exceeded its 2017 subcontract goals for awards to WOSB and small disadvantaged businesses, awarding $75 billion to all small businesses. These awards to small businesses equate to nearly one million jobs created to support the nation’s economy.

In the SBA’s press release, SBA Administrator Linda McMahon stated, “This grade reflects significant efforts by federal agencies toward meeting the 23 percent statutory goal to award prime contracts to small businesses. Every contract that gets in the hands of a small business owner is a win-win for the business, creating jobs in their communities, and boosting the nation’s economy.”

The SBA also released individual agency scorecards with a detailed explanation of methodology. Each federal agency has a different small business contracting goal, negotiated annually in consultation with the SBA. The SBA ensures that the sum total of all of the goals meets the 23% target established by law. Eight agencies received “A+” for meeting or exceeding 120% of their goals, including Homeland Security, Commerce, Labor, Interior, Housing and Urban Development, the Office of Personnel Management, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the SBA. 13 agencies received an “A” grade, two received a “B” grade, and one received a “C” grade.

The Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS-NG) provides additional funding data via a Department Level Small Business Goaling Report that displays Small Business data by Funding/Contracting Agency. For any questions, please contact our government contracting specialists or Vanessa Payne at 301.231.6200.