WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, and SBC Chairwoman Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), today recognized the Obama Administration for its commitment to small business contracting as he joined with key officials to unveil the 2013 Small Business Federal Procurement Scorecard. Senator Cardin participated in the announcement at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. In Fiscal Year 2013, $83.1 billion of all federal small business eligible contracting dollars were awarded to small businesses.
Senator Cardin praised the expertise, innovation and achievements of businesses and agencies based in Maryland in meeting the government-wide goals on small business contracting, as progress was made on targets for Service-Disabled Veterans, women-owned, Small Disadvantaged and HUBZone businesses.
“We’ve been fighting hard to reach the 23 percent goal,” Senator Cardin noted. “It came despite the meat-cleaver cuts of sequestration and the self-inflicted wound of a government shutdown. The Obama Administration deserves credit for this figure, and so do federal employees and small business owners. The collective dedication to support our small businesses has made this progress possible. I intend to keep pushing for more opportunities for our small businesses.”
“This is a significant step forward to increase opportunity for America’s innovative small businesses to help solve our nation’s challenges and create jobs,” Senator Cantwell said. “I appreciate Administrator Contreras-Sweet and President Obama’s leadership to ensure the government met its small business procurement goal for the first time in almost a decade. I look forward to working with the administration to now meet the goal for women-owned small businesses and ensuring they have equal access to these opportunities.”
“When we hit our small business procurement target, it’s a win. Small businesses get the revenue they need to grow and create jobs, and the federal government gets the chance to work with some of the most responsive, innovative and nimble companies in the U.S. while the economy grows,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. “Thanks to the President’s leadership and a team effort among all federal agencies, we were able to meet this goal.”
“NASA’s ‘A’ grade from the SBA is a hallmark of Maryland’s commitment to encouraging businesses to meet their own goals, and to do so in a responsible, transparent manner. We’re going to take the opportunity to learn lessons about how to replicate the agency’s success,” Senator Cardin added. Other agencies with a strong presence in Maryland also received high marks, including the Social Security Administration (A), Department of Commerce (A), Department of Health and Human Services (A), Department of the Interior (A+) and the Department of Defense (B).
The annual Scorecard is an assessment tool that measures how well federal agencies reach their small business and socio-economic prime contracting and subcontracting goals and reports 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 located in Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZones). Senator Cardin has previously introduced legislation that would help more small businesses compete for federal contracts by raising the government-wide small business prime goal from 23 percent to 25 percent. Government-wide subcontracting goals would be increased from 35.9 percent to 40 percent.
Every two years, the SBA works with each agency to set their prime and subcontracting goals and their grades are based on the agreed upon goals. Each federal agency has a different small business contracting goal, negotiated biannually in consultation with SBA. SBA ensures that the sum total of all of the goals exceeds the 23 percent target established by law. Agency specific data from previous years can be found at: http://www.sba.gov/content/small-business-procurement-scorecards-0