Characteristics of Recent Federal Small Business Contracting

Eagle Eye Publishers, Inc., May 2012

This study documents the role and impact of federal procurement programs on small businesses. It further provides a backdrop to evaluate the impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (also known as the ARRA, the Recovery Act, or the Stimulus) on small business contracting.

Overall Findings

The report has two main findings. First, agencies that achieve their small business procurement goals have three factors in common: they have a high utilization rate of new small businesses; small firms make up a larger share of these agencies’ contractors compared to agencies that fell short of their goals; and a large share of their contract actions are fixed-price contracts. Second, procurement initiated under the Recovery Act successfully utilized small contractors, both in terms of number of entities and dollars spent. Of the $51.7 billion spent on Recovery Act contracts by 28 agencies from February 2009 through December 2010, 25.5 percent of the total, or $13.1 billion, was expended through small business contracts.