The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) on Wednesday, March 2 announced the federal government hit its goal of awarding at least 5 percent of all contracts to women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) during FY15.
Twenty-three percent of all federal contracting dollars are set aside for small businesses. Of this 23 percent, 5 percent is legally required to be set aside for WOSBs. FY15 is the first year that the federal government has hit this specific benchmark for WOSBs.
“Meeting this goal means five percent is no longer our ceiling but our foundation upon which to build,” said Contreras-Sweet. “That’s why the SBA has added 36 new industry categories where women can now compete for set-aside contracts and sole-source awards. This will dramatically expand contracting opportunities for women-owned businesses, paving the way for new jobs and industries to be created.”
Contracting accomplishments during FY15 included:
- Awarding 5.05 percent of all available federal contracts for small businesses, or $17.8 billion, to WOSBs
- Awarding an all-time high of 25.75 percent of all available federal contracts for small businesses, or $90.7 billion, to small businesses.
- Awarding 3.93 percent of all available federal contracts for small businesses, or $13.8 billion, to Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs)
- Awarding an all-time high of 10.06 percent of all available federal contracts for small businesses, or $35.4 billion, to Small Disadvantaged Businesses (SDBs)
A recent report commissioned by the SBA showed that WOSBs are underrepresented or substantially underrepresented in 113 North American Classification System (NAICS) groups. Contreras-Sweet, during a press conference on March 2, said that the SBA will use these findings to expand opportunities for WOSBs and provide a broader range of industries for contracting officers to find eligible women-owned businesses.
US Federal Contractor Registration, the world’s largest third-party government registration firm, is available to help small businesses complete the paperwork necessary to become certified as a WOSB, SDVOSB, SDB, and/or small business. As seen during FY15, businesses who meet SBA guidelines for these certifications are eligible to receive billions in federal contracting dollars that they otherwise would not be eligible to receive.
“What the SBA, and by extension the federal government, does is make sure that no matter the size of your business, you have a fair shot at winning a government contract,” said Eric Knellinger, president of US Federal Contractor Registration. “Because the certification process is time-consuming and often complex, we strongly urge businesses interested in one or more of these certifications work with us.”
During FY15, according to the SBA, federal contracting dollars awarded to small businesses supported more than half a million jobs in communities across this country.
“Small businesses often get too little credit for their work as our nation’s leading job-creators, generating nearly two out of three net new jobs in our economy,” Contreras-Sweet added. “When these federal dollars churn in local communities, they create a multiplier effect that strengthens the local tax base and leads to better government services and better schools.”