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New legislation requires small business contracting

Each year, the U.S. government spends $500 billion on private contracts, and 23 percent of those funds are specifically allotted to small businesses. Carter Merkle, program manager of the Oklahoma Bid Assistance Network, discusses new goals.
by Paula Burkes Published: March 5, 2013
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Q&A with Carter Merkle

New federal legislation requires

contracting with small business

Q: Earlier this year, President Barack Obama recommitted to meeting small business contract goals. What does this mean and how can small businesses take advantage of the federal contracts available?

A: When President Obama started his new term, he signed legislation to deliver even more government contracts to small businesses and ensure federal agencies take their annual small-business contracting goals more seriously. This new legislation requires small business contracting performance as part of employee reviews for senior agency officials. Each year, the U.S. government spends $500 billion on private contracts, and 23 percent of those funds are specifically allotted to small businesses. It's a significant piece of the pie that small businesses can pursue with the aid of many free resources and tools.

Q: Why have so few small businesses been granted federal contracts in the past?

A: Last year marked the 11th consecutive year the federal government missed its goal to grant contracts to small businesses. For small businesses — many with limited resources — the process can seem daunting. The reality is, while the requirements can be extensive (for good reason!), there are resources available to help companies overcome these hurdles and demystify the process.

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by Paula Burkes
Reporter
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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