Small businesses receive record federal contracts in 2003

Small business contractors received more government contracts in 2003 than ever before, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. The administration announced last week the federal government awarded $62.7 billion in contracting funds — 25 percent of all contracting dollars — to small businesses.

During fiscal year 2002, approximately $53 billion in government contracts were awarded to small contractors and businesses. The SBA said last year’s increase created about 469,632 jobs and amounted to 25 percent of the government’s prime contracting budget. Female-owned businesses saw the largest increase in contracts.

The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense awarded the highest percentages of their contracting dollars to small businesses, with the DHS awarding 41 percent of its contracts to small domestic businesses and the DOD awarding 25 percent of its contracting dollars to small contractors.

The SBA set a goal of 23 percent of all contracting dollars to go to small businesses.

“We not only exceeded those standards, but we set an all-time record, awarding a higher percentage of federal dollars to America’s small businesses than ever before,” said Hector Barreto, administrator of the SBA.