In an article recently published 3/3/16 by the SBA, we are informed of steps taken by our government and the Small Business Administration:SBA
Federal Government Breaks Contracting Record for Women-Owned Small Businesses WASHINGTON – Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and a member of President Obama’s Cabinet, was joined by Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY-07), Ranking Member of the House Small Business Committee, Representative Judy Chu (D-CA-27) and Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17) today to announce that the federal government has surpassed its five percent contracting goal for Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB) for the first time in history. “Meeting this goal means five percent is no longer our ceiling but our foundation upon which to build,” said Contreras-Sweet. “A recent SBA-commissioned study revealed women-owned businesses already employ eight million American workers, but when it comes to receiving contracts and capital, women are still under-represented. 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 announced today include:
- In FY15, 5.05 percent or $17.8 billion of all federal small business eligible contracting dollars were awarded to WOSBs, the first time this specific benchmark has ever been reached. Since taking over as SBA Administrator, Contreras-Sweet has made it a top priority to increase federal contracting opportunities for Women-Owned Small Businesses.
- The federal government surpassed its 23 percent small business procurement goal for the third year in a row, awarding an all-time high of 25.75 percent, or $90.7 billion, in federal contracts to small businesses. These contracting funds support more than 537,000 jobs and have a significant impact on job creation, innovation, and growth in communities throughout the country.
- Federal contract dollars awarded to Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs) and Small Disadvantaged Businesses (SDB) also reached historic highs. For the 4th consecutive year, the federal government exceeded the goal for SDVOSBs, achieving 3.93 percent or $13.8 billion of all federal small business eligible contracting dollars. SDBs received 10.06 percent or $35.4 billion of all small business eligible contracting dollars, the highest percentage in history.
A recent report commissioned by Contreras-Sweet showed that WOSBs are underrepresented or substantially underrepresented in 113 North American Classification System (NAICS) groups. These findings will be used to expand opportunities for women-owned businesses and provide a broader range of industries for contracting officers to find eligible women-owned businesses. In April 2013, WIPP, American Express OPEN and the SBA partnered to launch ChallengeHER, a national initiative to help boost government contracting opportunities for women-owned small businesses. “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. “Last fiscal year the federal government awarded its highest percentage of contracting dollars to small businesses in the history of the United States, totaling more than $90 billion. Those resources supported more than half a million jobs in communities across this country. 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. That’s the promise of our work.”