Federal Small Business Contract Goal Missed For 6th Straight Year

Main Street lost out on billions in 2011 because the U.S. government missed its goal of awarding 23 percent of all federal contract dollars to small businesses.

The Small Business Administration reported Tuesday that the federal government awarded $91.5 billion in contracts to small businesses last year, but missed its mark by $3.8 billion. Small businesses scored only 21.7 percent of the funds paid to contractors, down from 22.7 percent in 2010.

2011 marked the sixth straight year that the feds have fallen short of the target. Small businesses have missed out on at least $25.7 billion in contracts since 2006, netting the target 23 percent only three times in the last 12 years, according to CNN Money.

A recent analysis of procurement data by the White House found that a significant number of contracts are being awarded to large businesses, even in industries where small businesses are well-represented.

One group has even accused the government of "fabricating" its latest contracting data. The American Small Business League, a bipartisan small business advocacy group, said in a statement that the SBA’s latest report exaggerates the percentage of federal contracts awarded to “legitimate small businesses.”

“President Obama must force the SBA to stop fabricating these numbers,” wrote Lloyd Chapman, president of the ASBL, in a statement Tuesday. “Ending the diversion of federal small business contracting to corporate giants around the world would create more jobs than anything President Obama has ever proposed.”

Chapman has previously pointed to loopholes that allegedly allow companies as large as Lockheed Martin to “hijack" federal small business contracts by purchasing those companies that hold federal contracts.