The Federal government awarded $162.9 billion in contracts to small businesses in Fiscal Year (FY) 2022, marking a record high and surpassing the Biden administration’s small business contracting goal, the Small Business Administration (SBA) said in a July 18 announcement.

The figure for total contract awards – an $8.7 billion increase from FY 2021 – represents a 5.6 percent year-over-year increase in the volume of government contracts awarded to small businesses. According to SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, about 26.5 percent of government contracts were awarded to small businesses in FY 2022, versus the Biden administration’s goal of 23 percent.

“Through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, we have championed initiatives to fuel our nation’s historic economic growth while reducing barriers and ensuring fair competition in Federal contracting,” said Guzman.

The Federal government overall received an ‘A’ on the SBA’s scorecard for work with small businesses for FY 2022. Ten Federal agencies received an ‘A+’ for their work with small businesses. Only two agencies received below a score of ‘B’ – the Department of Health and Human Services received a ‘C’ and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs received a ‘D.’

In addition, for the second consecutive year Federal contracting for small disadvantaged businesses exceeded the government’s11 percent goal. Federal contracting for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses exceeded its three percent goal, reaching nearly five percent in FY2022.

However, historically underutilized business zone (HUBZone) small businesses and women-owned small businesses came in below the government’s target contract levels, according to SBA. Despite not meeting the target goal of three percent, HUBZone small businesses were awarded a record $16.3 billion of contracts

Meanwhile, women-owned small businesses contract awards did increase by about $1.9 billion from the previous year, despite not meeting the five percent goal. The overall dollars granted to women-owned small businesses increased from $26.2 billion in FY 2021 to $28.1 billion in FY 2022.

According to the SBA announcement, the agency “remains dedicated to collaborating with contracting agencies, actively pursuing future changes to achieve the 5 percent WOSB goal.”

Since the start of his presidency, increasing Federal procurement opportunities for small businesses has been a top priority for President Biden and his administration.

“This report also shows progress in increasing the share of Federal contracts going to small disadvantaged businesses … ensuring that Federal investments build wealth and opportunity for underserved entrepreneurs and small business owners in every community across the country,” President Biden said in a statement.

“Small businesses are the engines of our economy and the heart and soul of our communities, and investing in our small business entrepreneurs means investing in competition and job creation,” he added.

The SBA has made several strategic and targeted changes to ensure small businesses find and take advantage of opportunities presented by legislation approved by Congress signed into law by President Biden, including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the CHIPS and Science Act.

“The Biden Administration continues to raise the bar, reaching a record high level of contract spending with small businesses, supporting over one million good-paying jobs in manufacturing, construction, research & development, and other vital industries,” said Guzman.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.