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Shows & Panels
The Small Business Dilemma
The federal government has missed its 23 percent small business contracting goal for the past six years. In our special report, The Small Business Dilemma, Federal News Radio explores the dynamics that make small business contracting a challenge for agencies - specifically the Defense Department, the government's biggest spender. We explore what the Pentagon is doing to increase opportunities for small firms and get best practices from agencies that are already creating big opportunities for small business. We also examine why agencies are struggling to find contractors in Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZones).
As the biggest spender in the federal government, the Defense Department has the greatest potential to award contracts to small businesses. But the nature and breadth of defense contracts can leave out small firms. The Pentagon is taking steps to make it easier for small firms to do business with the department.
The federal government as a whole has consistently missed its goal to award 23 percent of its contract dollars to small businesses. But the government also has examples of agencies bucking that trend. In part two of our special report, The Small Business Dilemma, Federal News Radio speaks with several agencies' about how they're succeeding in the small business contracting arena.
Federal agencies already have had a hard time meeting their goal to award 3 percent of contract dollars to small businesses located in Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone). But the 2010 Census wiped out more than 30 percent of the HUBZone companies certified by the Small Business Administration — leaving agencies searching for new firms and decertified firms trying to figure out what's next.