Our commitment to small businesses is a key priority for GSA. Through our Making It Easier initiatives, we’re providing small businesses with the tools and support they need to be successful when working with the government, ultimately helping them understand the procurement process and how they can seek business.
We recognize the important role small businesses play in our economy and our communities. In partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Region 5 office and the Veterans Business Outreach Center, we recently hosted a procurement forum specifically for veteran-owned small businesses. More than 80 attendees joined us for this event to learn how they can do business with the federal government and what support was available to them.
We structured the event to provide attendees with honest insight from a variety of perspectives. The opening panel of veteran small business owners shared how they have successfully worked with the federal government. They offered up some tips and tricks, and encouraged small business owners to continue pursuing the right opportunities for their businesses.
Our GSA small business team participated in a panel with other federal agencies, with each sharing what opportunities they have for small business contracts. Our team also shared the Forecast of Contracting Opportunities Tool with participants, a web-based search tool that makes it easier to find out about small business contracting opportunities. The event closed with a matchmaking session, allowing these business owners to connect with agency contacts and gain perspective on how they can do business with the federal government. Each agency also provided information for these businesses to get additional guidance and support.
Events like this is just one example of how we support small businesses. In the Great Lakes Region, small businesses contracting goals are built into nearly all of our acquisition workforce performance plans. By focusing on this, it’s become a win-win for both the federal government and the small business community.
Historically, we’ve constantly exceed our goals of awarding contracts to small businesses. Last fiscal year, our region awarded $89.6 million or 65 percent of our contracts to small businesses and for service disabled veteran owned small business we awarded $14 million. Add that to the sub-contracting work that small businesses receive, and our commitment is even stronger.
Through our resources, tools, and training, GSA will continue its commitment to increase opportunities for small businesses seeking to do business with the federal government.