Small Businesses Disappointed With Contracting Share??U.S. Government Failing to Meet Legal Requirement, Group Says
By V. Dion Haynes – Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 31, 2009
Officials of small businesses, asserting that the government has repeatedly failed to meet its obligation to set aside work for them, are demanding that the Obama administration dramatically increase federal contracts awarded to their firms.
Federal law requires that the government set aside 23 percent of its contracts to small businesses. But small businesses in fiscal 2008 received 21.5 percent of those contracts, the shortfall representing a loss of $30 billion in work to the firms, according to the National Association of Small Business Contractors.
Obama administration officials, while pointing out that awards to small-business contractors set a record in 2008, say they are increasing their outreach efforts to them — requiring agency heads to participate in many more meet-and-greet events during the remainder of the year in an attempt to reach their goal.
But small-business advocates argue that is not enough.