SBA Small Business Contracting Annual Scorecard Release

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SBA Small Business Contracting Annual Scorecard Release

Speech Date: 
Friday, August 1, 2014
Speech Location: 
Greenbelt, Maryland
As Prepared For: 
Maria Contreras Sweet, SBA Administrator

Thank you, Chris, and to everyone here at the Goddard Space Flight Center for hosting us.  What a beautiful facility!

I’m so pleased to be with Senator Ben Cardin and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, who’ve both been tireless supporters of small business.

The Washington Post said it well.  Senator Cardin is “sensible, tough-minded and independent.” He has “proven integrity, formidable intellect and an unstinting work ethic.” Senator Cardin is a true champion for America’s small businesses.

And what can I say about Administrator Bolden; a former astronaut, US Marine Corps Major General, a graduate of the US Naval Academy. He has been a true ally of the small business community as NASA Administrator. We’re grateful you’re with us to make some news with the release of our annual scorecard.

The federal government is the largest buyer of goods and services in the world. From day one of his administration, President Obama has been focused like a laser on connecting more small business owners to the opportunities within the federal government. And the single most important thing Uncle Sam can do to help America’s entrepreneurs succeed is give them more business.

During President Obama’s first five years in office, the federal government has awarded $459 billion in contracts to small businesses. This is a $62 billion increase over the five preceding years, even as contract spending has declined due to the sequester and government downsizing.

Since 2010, the President has convened the White House Small Business Procurement Group. The work of this group doesn’t get a lot of publicity… but it has been critical.

The President also implemented the QuickPay program, which helps the government’s small business suppliers get paid in 15 days or less.

Today marks another important achievement. I’m delighted to report that the United States government has met its annual 23 percent contracting goal for small businesses – for the first time in eight years.

23.4 percent of all federal contracts went to small businesses last year. This translates to more than $83 billion dollars of revenue for the job creators who produce 2 out of 3 net, new private-sector jobs in our economy. I want to recognize SBA Associate Administrator John Shoraka and his hard-working team for their role in today’s achievement.

This is a proud day, and it has been a long time coming. When we hit our small business procurement target, it’s a win-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. – usually with a direct line to their CEO.

NASA received a grade of “A” for the second straight year for its commitment to small business. Even as NASA’s budget has been reduced in recent years,
the agency has increased its contracting dollar amounts to small firms – including more than $5.1 billion dollars in FY13.

Today, smaller firms employ more than 40 percent of America’s high-tech workers – and produce 13 times more patents per employee than large corporations. NASA’s Office of Small Business Programs is empowering our small business innovators, and I want to recognize Glenn Delgado for his leadership. NASA’s missions may be galaxies away, but they are creating jobs right here at home.

Later this year, the very first 3-D printer designed for outer space will be installed on the International Space Station. The company that developed the space-age printer is “Made in Space” – a California-based small business that won contracts from NASA to pioneer this work.

Supporting innovation is only part of the story today. Contracting impacts agriculture and Main Street and can lift up traditionally underserved small businesses. In FY13, Uncle Sam awarded the highest percentage of contracts to Small Disadvantaged Business in American history.

The goal set by Congress is 5 percent. But in FY13, disadvantaged firms received 8.6 percent of all federal contracts – totaling $30.6 billion dollars. These contracts are helping African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Asian-Americans and Native Americans working the communities hardest hit by the Recession.

We also met our 3 percent contracting goal for small businesses owned by service-disabled veterans. In FY13, these firms received 3.4 percent of federal contracts – totaling more than $12 billion dollars. This record-breaking achievement is the highest percentage of federal contracts ever awarded to this group of veteran entrepreneurs.

I’ve said many times that we have a special responsibility to our wounded warriors to serve them as well as they’ve served us. In FY13, we honored that responsibility. I thank my fellow agency heads for doing right by America’s heroes.

Finally, another area of progress is contracts awarded to women-owned small businesses. Women entrepreneurs received 4.3 percent of federal contracts last year. That’s up from 4 percent in FY12 – and it’s the largest percentage of procurement dollars to flow to women-owned small businesses since 1989.

But let me be clear: I won’t be satisfied until we hit our 5 percent goal, which is why I’ve called on Congress to pass sole-source authority for women-owned businesses. I want to thank Senator Cardin for co-sponsoring legislation that would bring the women-owned small business program into alignment with other programs that have this authority.

In each of the previous four years, SBA had awarded a grade of “B” to Uncle Sam in our annual contracting scorecard. This year, Uncle Sam gets an “A” for reaching the contracting goal for the first time since 2005.

When small firms have steady cash flow, they are able to better compete for that second, third and fourth contract, while they service the first.

There’s a lot of credit to go around.  The SBA scored 24 agencies this year, and 20 received a grade of A or A+.

Working together, it’s my hope and intention to build on this momentum and have more good news to report next summer.

Thanks again to everyone who played a part in this achievement.

Now’s it’s my pleasure to introduce someone I get to work for – a small business owner. Edge Space Systems is a woman-owned small business in Maryland. Edge specializes in thermal engineering, ensuring spacecraft can handle the negative 460 degree temperatures of outer space.

As we sit here, the Mars rover Curiosity is exploring the planet’s surface with a soil analysis instrument designed by Edge and the Goddard team. Right now, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter that Edge helped design is scanning the moon for signs of water – and studying the conditions for humans to safely return to take another giant leap for mankind. This week, Edge was just awarded another NASA subcontract, which will allow them to make eight new hires.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to turn it over to, the company’s founder and CEO, Cynthia Edgerton.