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The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA): Procurement Opportunities

The federal government purchases billions of dollars in goods and services each year that range from paperclips to complex space vehicles. To ensure that small businesses get their fair share, statutory goals have been established for Federal executive agencies. They are:

  • 23 percent of prime contracts for small businesses;
  • 5 percent of prime and subcontracts for small disadvantaged businesses;
  • 5 percent of prime and subcontracts for women-owned small businesses;
  • 3 percent of prime contracts for HUBZone small businesses;
  • 3 percent of prime and subcontracts for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses.

In addition to the goals established, the Small Business Act 15(g)(1) also states that it is the policy of the United States, that each agency shall have an annual goal that represents, for that agency, the maximum practicable opportunity for small business concerns, small business concerns owned and controlled by service disabled veterans, qualified HUBZone small business concerns, small business concerns owned and operated by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, and small business concerns owned and controlled by women to participate in the performance of contracts let by that agency.

Goaling Process

The Role of Small Business Adminstration (SBA)

SBA’s responsibility under the Small Business Act 15(g)(1) is to ensure that the Government-wide goal for participation of small business concerns be established at not less than the statutory levels annually and to report the agencies’ achievements relative to the goals of the President

Negotiating and Establishing Goals

To fulfill this responsibility, SBA negotiates goals with the Federal agencies to establish individual agency goals such that in the aggregate, the Government-wide goals are established. In addition to the statutory goals, as a matter of policy, SBA also negotiates a small business subcontracting goal based on the recent achievement levels and a HUBZone (HZ) subcontracting goal equivalent to the required prime HZ goal and recommends that the agencies’ SDB goal be comprised of half 8(a) awards and half non-8(a) awards.

Before the beginning of the fiscal year, agencies submit proposed goals to SBA. SBA’s Office of Government Contracting determines if these individual agency goals, in the aggregate, meet or exceed the government-wide statutorily mandated goals in each small business category. When that is achieved, SBA notifies the agencies of the final goals.

Monitoring Acheivments towards Goals

The SBA uses the procurement data in the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) to monitor agencies’ achievements against goals. The FPDS is the official Federal procurement data source. Agencies report each award over $25,000 separately with details about that award such as; industry, place of performance, type of contractor, if the contractor meets SBA’s size standards, and amount. Awards under $25,000 are also reported, but in summary form that does not include specific details about each small purchase. The agencies’ prime contractors, who win awards over $500,000 ($1 million if construction) also report on their subcontracting to small business by goal category. SBA monitors the agencies’ performance throughout the year using the FPDS data and compares the agencies’ achievements with its goals.

Reporting Acheivments and Goals

When the mid-year data are available, SBA reports to each major Federal procurement agency on their progress towards goals for that fiscal year. Annually, SBA prepares a report for the President government-wide and by agency. That report is also published in the Office of Advocacy’s State of Small Business.
Achievements and goals are posted on SBA’s web site at

More Information

SBA policies and procedures for implementing the statutory small business goals are presented in the Goaling Guidelines. The Guidelines in effect in prior fiscal years are available under that year’s web site where the goals and achievements are posted. The current Guidelines are posted on under the Methodology for Establishing Goals button. The website to contact Government Contracting Goaling Office is


See also…

Starting a Business

Business and Finance Law