Small Businesses Won a Record $96.8 Billion in Federal Contracts in FY 2009

Washington (PRESS RELEASE – August 29, 2010) – Small businesses won a record $96.8 billion in federal prime contracts in Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 (Oct. 1, 2008- Sept. 30, 2009), an increase of more than $3 billion from FY 2008, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s fourth annual small business procurement scorecard released today. This dollar amount represents 21.89 percent of all federal spending – an improvement over FY2008.  Additionally, performance in each of the government’s socioeconomic subcategories increased for FY2009.

“Small businesses received a record $96.8 billion in federal contracts in 2009. There was an increase in both dollars and contracting share for every small business category. This represents real progress, but not enough, we must reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that the 23 percent goal is met and exceeded,” SBA Administrator Karen Mills said. “Federal contracts awarded to small businesses are a ‘win-win’ – providing small businesses with the opportunity to grow and create jobs, and offering innovative services and essential goods to the government at great value to the taxpayers.”

Small Business Goaling Summary Report

Small Businesses
2009 Goal      23%
2009 Percentage     21.89%
2009 Contract Dollars     $96.8 billion
2008 Percentage     21.5%
2008 Contract Dollars     $93.2 billion

Women Owned Small Business
2009 Goal      5%
2009 Percentage     3.68%
2009 Contract Dollars     $16.3 billion
2008 Percentage     3.40%
2008 Contract Dollars     $14.7 billion

Small Disadvantaged Businesses
2009 Goal      5%
2009 Percentage     7.57%
2009 Contract Dollars     $33.5 billion
2008 Percentage     6.76%
2008 Contract Dollars     $29.3 billion

Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business
2009 Goal      3%
2009 Percentage     1.98%
2009 Contract Dollars     $8.8 billion
2008 Percentage     1.49%
2008 Contract Dollars     $6.4 billion

2009 Goal      3%
2009 Percentage     2.81%
2009 Contract Dollars     $12.4 billion
2008 Percentage     2.34%
2008 Contract Dollars     $10.1 billion

SBA is required to report to the President and Congress on achievements by federal agencies and departments against their annual goal to ensure greater accountability. The small business Procurement Scorecard fulfills that requirement by providing an assessment of federal achievement in prime contracting and subcontracting to small businesses by the 24 Chief Financial Officers Act agencies. It also measures progress that departments are making to ensure small business opportunities remain an integral part of their acquisition of goods and services to meet mission objectives.
The fourth annual Scorecard is an assessment tool (1) to measure how well federal agencies reach their small business and socio-economic prime contracting and subcontracting goals, (2) provide accurate and transparent contracting data and (3) report agency-specific progress. The prime and subcontracting component goals include goals for small businesses, small businesses owned by women, small disadvantaged businesses, service-disabled veteran owned small businesses, and small businesses in located in HUBZones.

As it does every year, the SBA has closely examined federal procurement reporting and data to ensure the greatest level of transparency possible. After identifying anomalies in initial reports, the SBA has worked collaboratively – and will continue to work – with agencies across the government to correct as many data issues as possible, and improve the integrity of all small business federal contracting reporting moving forward.

The Recovery Act and Small Business Contracting

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provided additional resources to federal agencies in fiscal year 2009, providing additional opportunities for small businesses to win federal contracts. Through early August, small businesses have secured over 30 percent of Recovery Act Contracts. This preliminary data underscores the priority the Administration and the SBA have placed on increasing small businesses access to federal contracts so that they can grow and create jobs.

About the Scorecard

SBA graded 24 agencies on each of the individual prime contracting goals established by Congress and used a new A+ through F letter grade system rather than the previous red, yellow, and green ratings. The new scorecard format was implemented this year to provide greater clarity and transparency on how well each agency is doing in meeting its individual small business prime contracting goals.

Each federal agency has a different small business contracting goal, determined annually in consultation with SBA. SBA ensures that the sum total of all of the goals meets the 23 percent target established by law. Each agency’s overall grade will show an A+ for agencies that meet or exceed 120 percent of their goals, an A for those between 100 percent and 119 percent, a B for 90 to 99 percent, a C for 80 to 89 percent, a D for 70 to 79 percent and an F for less than 70 percent. An agency’s overall grade was comprised of three quantitative measures: prime contracts (80 percent), subcontracts (10 percent) and its progress plan for meeting goals (10 percent).

The scorecards released today by SBA, as well as a detailed explanation of the new scorecard methodology, is available online: As part of its ongoing efforts to increase access to contracting opportunities for small businesses, the SBA is continuing to work with federal agency procurement staff to strengthen the integrity of contracting data, including providing tools to facilitate public review of data, improvements to systems and training to improve accuracy.

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  1. This report is a great example of why we need to dissolve the mis-named Small Business Administration and start over.

    Some governments like Australia legally define small business as fewer than 15 employees. I see it breaking at 20, which is still 80%+ of all businesses. The SBA defines “small” as any business under 500 employees, which constitutes 99.7% of all businesses in America. Using “small” this way is no different than saying anyone under 7′ tall is “short” – it’s a way of hiding what’s really going on.

    When reports like this say “small business” received 21.89% of all government contracts, TRUE small business owners actually think small business is getting some of this. The reality is that companies between 50 and 500 are getting 99.9999% of this business (more of the 500 employee range than the 50 employee range), and true small businesses of 15-20 employees or less are getting so little as to be a meaningless number, except the few dozen out of 28 million true small businesses that happened to be in the right place at the right time.

    But keeping this ridiculous definition of small business allows politicians to blow their small business horns, take photo ops with the two guys who benefited, and say they love small business. But once again they’ve fed their big business cronies and simply called them small.

    It’s an outrageous definition allowing for outrageous and baseless claims like this one, and the politicians are just hoping you’ll swallow it hook, line and sinker. Reporters who throw this kind of report out there without revealing the absurd demographic being describe as “small” are either not doing their homework or are one of the few dozen that are actually getting some of that money.

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