Agencies, once again, set new records almost across the board for contracting with small businesses in fiscal 2023. New data from the Small Business Administration shows agencies awarded an all-time high of 28.4% of all eligible federal contract dollars to small businesses.

At the same time, SBA’s new small business scorecard data shows agencies met or surpassed governmentwide goals in three of five socio-economic category, including service disabled veteran-owned small businesses.

In all, agencies awarded $178.6 billion to small businesses last year, which is an increase of $15.7 billion from 2022.  The governmentwide small business contracting goal is 23%.  House Small Business Committee lawmakers recently passed a bill to increase that goal to 25%.

FY23 Prime Contracting by Dollars and Percentages for All Categories*:




Small Business

Small Disadvantaged Business

Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business

Women-Owned Small Business


In accordance with federal law, SBA provided double credit for prime contract awards in disaster areas that were awarded as a local area set aside. SBA also included in the calculation of government-wide achievements Department of Energy first-tier subcontracts required to be included by section 318 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 (“CAA”), Public Law 113-76.

Overall, SBA says 10 agencies received “A+” grades and two others received “A” grades on the scorecard, including the SBA, the departments of Agriculture Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Homeland Security and Commerce as well as the National Science Foundation, the General Services Administration, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Office of Personnel Management.

The White House and SBA recognized the small business contracting accomplishments during a roundtable today as well as during National Small Business Week, which kicked off yesterday.

As part of the 2023 scorecard, SBA also released contract data broken down by business owner race and ethnicity, which shows that businesses owned by historically underrepresented groups earned more through federal contracts across every category. Agencies awarded $76.2 billion to small disadvantaged businesses, the most ever, surpassing the Biden administration’s goal of 12%. The White House set a 15% goal for 2025.

“This represents the third consecutive year of record-breaking awards to SDBs under President Biden, and puts the administration on track to reach the President’s goal of increasing federal contracting dollars to SDBs by 50% by 2025,” the White House said in a fact sheet released today.

For example, African-American owned businesses received $10.2 billion in federal contracts in 2023, $800 million more than in 2022. Meanwhile, Hispanic-owned businesses saw their overall contract dollars increase by $943 million to $10.9 billion last year.

FY23 Federal Contracting Dollars to Minority-Owned Small Businesses:


Demographic Category
$ increase under Biden-Harris Administration (from FY20 to FY23)

Black American
$9.4 billion
$9 billion
$9.5 billion
$10.2 billion
$800 million

Hispanic American
$10 billion
$10.3 billion
$10.6 billion
$10.9 billion
$943 million

Asian Americans
$6.9 billion
$7 billion
$7.5 billion
$9 billion
$2.1 billion

Subcontinent Asian American
$8.7 billion
$9.5 billion
$10.2 billion
$11.5 billion
$2.8 billion

Native American
$15.1 billion
$17.4 billion
$19 billion
$23.3 billion
$8.2 billion


In addition to beating the SDB goal, the SBA says agencies also exceeded the service-disabled veteran-owned small business goal of 3%. Agencies awarded $31.9 billion, or 5.07% of all contracts to these firms.

This also is first time agencies came close to meeting the goal for women-owned small business awards, missing out by less than 1%, while still awarding $30.9 billion to these companies.

Along with prime contracts, agencies exceeded their goals in making sure small businesses received subcontracts. SBA says 33.34% of all subcontract dollars went to small companies, more than 2% above the goal for a total of $86.4 billion.

Unlike with prime contracts, agencies missed all socioeconomic goals under subcontracting except for women-owned small businesses. The women-owned small business goal was 5% and agencies achieved 5.65%, while missing out on the SDB, HUBZone and service-disabled veteran-owned small business goals.

This latest scorecard comes when House and Senate lawmakers are pushing SBA to hold agencies more accountable for small business contracting. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, introduced the Accountability and Clarity in Contracts to Engage Small Suppliers and Small Businesses (ACCESS) Act last September to revamp the goaling structure.

House Small Business Committee lawmakers also passed several bills earlier this month to address long-standing concerns like making sure agencies use plain language when writing contracts and bring more transparency to decisions when agencies cancel small business contracts.

The post Agencies set records for small business contracting in 2023 first appeared on Federal News Network.