The government’s success in meeting mandatory small business contracting goals two years running is due largely to White House focus and new requirements that program managers in the Senior Executive Service pay greater attention to the acquisition process, the Obama administration’s small-business development chief said on Tuesday.
Many call set-asides for small business “not a handout but a hand-up, but I say it’s a matter of survival for the federal government as a whole,” said John Shoraka, associate administrator of government contracting and business development at the Small Business Administration (SBA). He spoke to contractors gathered for American Express OPEN’s all-day summit with agency acquisition officials working with small businesses that are women- or minority owned or economically disadvantaged.
Outlining the government’s efforts to institutionalize the success of meeting the goal of steering 23 percent of contract dollars to small business, Shoraka said, “I’ve told my staff I could write a book saying that America’s secret weapon is small business procurement — when small business is engaged, the industrial base is preserved. It’s win-win, because companies hire employees, which has impact on the economy.”