The Small Business Administration has released its 2016 Small Business Scorecards, SBA’s Government-wide and agency-specific review of small business utilization, transparency, and agency progress.

The SBA negotiates the goals with every agency once every 2 years to ensure that prime and subcontracting goals exceed 23 percent of total contract spending.

Overall, SBA scored Government-wide small business use as an “A.” Government-wide small business contracting exceeded the established goals in every small business category other than HUBZones, which achieved only 1.67%, falling short of the 3.00% goal.

As a small business, this is great news; the Federal government remains committed to ensuring that entrepreneurship is encouraged and innovation has a place in our Government.

Federal Spending Trends and Small Business Set-Aside Goals

The numbers also reveal that, though goals were exceeded, the percentages for all but Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB) dropped from 2015:

Type 2015 Goal 2016
Small Business 25.75% 23.00% 24.34%
Women Owned Small Business 5.05% 5.00% 4.79%
Small Disadvantaged Business 10.06% 5.00% 9.53%
Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business 3.93% 3.00% 3.98%
HUBZone 1.82% 3.00% 1.67%

 

The drop occurred in a year when overall Federal contract spending also decreased, although, as a percentage, small business contracting should remain the same or increase. Consequently, it continues to be necessary for small businesses to market their capabilities to agency small business representatives, their customers, and large prime contractors.

Agencies Small Businesses Should Target in 2017

Based on this year’s Small Business Scorecards, let’s identify agencies that need to work with small businesses the most in the coming year. First, we’ll review Prime contracts awarded to small businesses – all shaded cells indicate areas where an agency missedits SBA goal and will be required to adjust in the coming years, which could be an opportunity for small businesses:

Agency Small Business (Goal) Small Business % Small Business $ SDB
(5% Goal)
WOSB
(5% Goal)
SDVOSB
(3% Goal)
HUB Zone (3% Goal)
Government-Wide Performance 23.00% 24.34% 99,960,215,526 9.53% 4.79% 3.98% 1.67%
Agency for International Development 11.00% 13.12%  $571,105,191.00 5.50% 3.36% 1.19% 0.19%
Department of Agriculture 52.50% 56.24%  $3,318,838,167.00 16.85% 9.86% 3.98% 3.94%
Department of Commerce 40.00% 41.44%  $1,899,238,194.00 17.43% 11.59% 4.87% 4.23%
Department of Defense 21.26% 22.94%  $57,813,095,692.00 8.77% 4.10% 3.36% 1.57%
Department of Education 25.50% 23.35%  $556,156,111.00 5.98% 5.96% 1.17% 0.58%
Department of Energy 6.37% 5.39%  $1,425,906,166.00 2.87% 1.24% 0.65% 0.15%
Department of Health and Human Services 22.75% 23.02%  $5,442,690,789.00 10.86% 7.29% 1.56% 1.03%
Department of Homeland Security 33.50% 36.95%  $5,176,211,228.00 15.64% 7.67% 5.99% 4.21%
Department of Housing and Urban Development 35.00% 46.34%  $515,022,468.00 23.28% 20.12% 4.41% 1.20%
Department of Justice 30.00% 31.72%  $2,235,939,934.00 12.13% 6.12% 3.69% 1.05%
Department of Labor 35.10% 36.04%  $658,558,821.00 22.90% 12.03% 4.72% 2.77%
Department of State 22.50% 28.56%  $2,454,373,934.00 14.81% 6.23% 5.40% 2.37%
Department of the Interior 53.50% 59.67%  $1,830,722,146.00 27.07% 12.86% 5.02% 4.87%
Department of the Treasury 37.00% 36.17%  $1,087,123,276.00 15.29% 11.59% 4.14% 4.49%
Department of Transportation 49.50% 51.77%  $983,003,674.00 21.89% 10.65% 3.11% 10.86%
Department of Veterans Affairs 32.50% 29.88%  $6,910,384,502.00 7.09% 3.04% 17.76% 1.58%
Environmental Protection Agency 41.75% 40.09%  $638,379,221.00 14.82% 5.88% 3.95% 0.61%
General Services Administration 36.50% 39.23%  $1,646,312,884.00 21.64% 9.31% 5.32% 3.89%
National Aeronautics and Space Administration 16.75% 16.67%  $2,666,446,582.00 8.17% 4.05% 0.86% 0.52%
National Science Foundation 12.75% 18.64%  $81,181,202.00 11.17% 2.68% 3.12% 2.37%
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 32.25% 37.12%  $84,357,393.00 20.32% 10.20% 6.14% 2.90%
Office of Personnel Management 25.25% 31.40%  $294,506,368.00 11.45% 9.66% 1.46% 3.19%
Small Business Administration 72.75% 73.70%  $111,573,427.00 39.48% 21.73% 11.20% 6.54%
Social Security Administration 36.75% 36.67%  $549,961,455.00 8.68% 13.39% 3.16% 1.57%

 

Only a few agencies missed the overall goal and mostly by thin margins. The bigger differences come when identifying prime contracts awarded to specific designations of small businesses. For example, Education, Energy, HHS, and OPM all missed the SDVOSB mark.  These agencies would be good strategic contacts for SDVOSB’s in 2017 and 2018.

Agencies that exceeded their goals  understand the value of small businesses and will be looking to continue their success. Small Business-friendly agencies include Agriculture, Commerce, HUD, DOL, Interior, DOT, GSA, Regulatory Commission, and the SBA.

Sometimes there are reasons for missing goals.  For example, NASA may find it difficult to find technically acceptable small businesses for many of its projects and instead relies on large primes to subcontract work. NASA exceeded the goals for SB, SDB, and WOSB when it came to subcontracted work.

The Department of Energy missed every goal; this may mean that small businesses are underrepresented in the programs that fall under DoE’s mission.

The Department of Veterans Affair missed two goals, but I would expect that to change much, given  its Supreme Court-validated VetsFirst policy.

Subcontracting goals and performance by agency:

Agency Small Business (Goal) Small Business % Small Business $ SDB
(5% Goal)
WOSB
(5% Goal)
SDVOSB
(3% Goal)
HUB Zone (3% Goal)
Government-Wide Performance 33.70% 32.20% 83,500,325,652 5.50% 5.70% 1.60% 1.10%
Agency for International Development 20.00% 26.70%  $126,859,949.00 3.30% 7.50% 1.10% 0.80%
Department of Agriculture 23.00% 23.80%  $220,369,767.00 0.80% 1.70% 0.10% 0.30%
Department of Commerce 30.00% 56.40%  $162,077,057.00 16.10% 19.60% 3.80% 2.70%
Department of Defense 34.50% 33.90% $41,828,903,746.00 4.40% 5.70% 2.10% 1.40%
Department of Education 31.00% 37.10%  $183,062,274.00 8.40% 6.20% 3.40% 2.60%
Department of Energy 50.00% 54.20%  $5,439,606,719.00 11.80% 11.00% 3.10% 3.30%
Department of Health and Human Services 33.00% 29.90%  $979,929,555.00 5.40% 6.70% 1.50% 0.90%
Department of Homeland Security 41.00% 47.50%  $1,072,095,625.00 9.90% 11.30% 4.60% 2.30%
Department of Housing and Urban Development 55.00% 53.80%  $97,872,071.00 19.00% 13.30% 8.30% 1.50%
Department of Justice 40.00% 38.20%  $186,602,831.00 8.50% 9.10% 1.50% 1.60%
Department of Labor 55.00% 65.90%  $123,767,321.00 16.30% 16.50% 5.20% 7.50%
Department of State 29.00% 47.30%  $812,181,366.00 3.30% 8.90% 2.50% 1.60%
Department of the Interior 44.50% 42.20%  $220,601,217.00 15.00% 11.20% 3.30% 1.60%
Department of the Treasury 26.00% 39.00%  $194,940,988.00 8.00% 9.50% 1.20% 2.80%
Department of Transportation 55.00% 50.10%  $700,656,164.00 10.30% 9.00% 2.10% 0.60%
Department of Veterans Affairs 17.00% 18.70%  $7,436,959,133.00 1.40% 2.20% 0.30% 0.50%
Environmental Protection Agency 47.00% 69.90%  $10,786,167.00 8.40% 14.20% 3.80% 0.90%
General Services Administration 29.00% 31.30% $19,895,281,124.00 7.60% 5.90% 0.70% 0.40%
National Aeronautics and Space Administration 33.00% 39.20%  $2,587,386,334.00 12.50% 10.70% 2.90% 2.70%
National Science Foundation 24.00% 50.30%  $22,270,793.00 9.90% 27.50% 2.80% 0.90%
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 40.00% 86.90%  $19,881,070.00 14.70% 20.80% 3.40% 3.10%
Office of Personnel Management 58.00% 44.50%  $23,420,376.00 9.00% 7.50% 5.20% 10.20%
Small Business Administration 39.00% 92.30%  $572,942.00 23.50% 22.60% 0.10% 0.00%
Social Security Administration 50.00% 50.60%  $109,895,204.00 8.10% 13.10% 2.10% 2.50%

 

Search www.FBO.gov for Request for Information or Sources Sought where agencies are conducting market research to identify small business that can provide the needed solution. Search agency forecasts to find where you can get ahead of the procurement cycle and make it known that you can satisfy the agency’s needs. Finally, reach out to Small Business Representative, Liaisons, Advocates, and Contracting Officers to get in front of influencers and decision makers.

Using Small Business Representatives to Connect

SBA Procurement Center Representatives: https://www.sba.gov/contracting/resources-small-businesses/pcr-directory/area-directors

Every agency and contracting office typically has a Small Business Representative that advocates for small business. You can typically find these representatives listed on each agency website.

Contact your local Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) for contracting training and assistance or contact Coley GCS for contract acquisition, strategic planning, Bid support, or channel representation.

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