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Empty Net?

Will snagging a government contract ever get easier?

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This story appears in the May 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Not since the Small Business Act in 1953 has small business gotten so much attention in Washington, DC. This time, focus is on the government's legal obligation to direct 23 percent of procurement dollars to small businesses. The scrutiny reveals a state of affairs that, like it or not, is changing profoundly.

The SBA says procurement meets its obligation to small business, and then some. Anthony Martoccia, the SBA's associate administrator for government contracting, points to SBA figures showing that in 2005 (the latest year for which data is available), small contractors received 25.4 percent, or $80 billion, of federal procurement. Plus, Martoccia says, prime contractors gave small businesses approximately $50 billion in subcontracts.

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