The government is expected to award small businesses with its targeted total of federal contracts – and it’s about time this comes to reality. Last September 2013, small businesses were given a total of $83.2 billion in federal contracts, which is equivalent to 23.4 percent of contracting dollars. This was a minimal increase, as compared to the 22.3 percent in 2012.
However, there were some speculations from small businesses regarding these figures. For instance, the report did not include the Transportation Security Administration, Federal Aviation Administration and contracts for exported goods. In fact, Missouri Republican Sam Graves, who also serves as the House Committee on Small Business chairman, stated that small businesses were only granted federal contracts by up to 19.4 percent. Albert Coachman added that these reports were inaccurate and partial. The lawyer, who also represents Blank Rome federal contractors in Washington D.C, claimed that various categories regarding federal expenses were not included in the report that aimed to present the government’s goal attainment.
Considering the updated results presented on the Small Business Dashboard at data.gov, it appears that there is no certainty that the government can attain its goal of reaching the 23 percent mark. Moreover, another update on the dashboard is expected to be released before the Small Business Administration provides its own assessment of the situation.
Nevertheless, it is best to look at the situation at another angle to have a deeper understanding of the truth. The SBA has become known for criticizing the government for its failed attempts in accomplishing goals for small businesses. Now, federal agencies that are involved in small business contracting calculations are speaking up. The fact that the government has barely succeeded in awarding the targeted number of contracts to small businesses owned by women remains to be an issue among critics. Yet, claims about reaching 23 percent of contracts is a laudable accomplishment, and it took the government eight whole years to achieve that much amount.