Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Report: Puerto Rico, USVI Small Businesses Received Over $618 Million in Federal Contracts During FY2019

By on August 13, 2020

(Screen capture of https://advocacy.sba.gov/)

SAN JUAN – The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Fiscal Year 2019 Small Business Federal Procurement Scorecard shows a record $132.9 billion in prime federal contracts, or 26.5% of the federal contracting dollars, were awarded to small businesses. The federal government-wide prime contracting goal is for at least 23% of all prime federal contracting dollars should be awarded to small businesses, the agency said.

“Exactly 2,067 small businesses in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands were awarded $618,762,045 in federal contracts during this time,” notes the SBA’s press release.

The federal government exceeded the goal for Women-Owned Small Businesses for the second time in the history of the Scorecard measurement program, “achieving the five percent goal for the first time in FY15 and building upon the record successes. The Women-Owned Small Businesses achievement for FY19 was 5.19%, setting a new record. Of the federal dollars distributed to Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Island small business contractors last year, 16.27% went to WOSBs,” the release reads.

“In FY19, the federal government exceeded the service-disabled veteran-owned small business and small disadvantaged business goals and the prime contract dollar awards in all small business categories increased from previous years,” the SBA said.

The overall FY19 numbers are an increase of $12.1 billion over the previous fiscal year and marks the seventh consecutive year the federal government exceeded its small business contracting goal.

Targeted sub-goals are also established for women-owned small businesses (5%); small disadvantaged businesses (5%); firms located in HUBZones, the SBA’s program for companies that operate and employ people in Historically Under-utilized Business Zones (3%); and service disabled veteran-owned small businesses (3%) as well, which are meant to be subsets of the overall small business goal of 23%, the SBA said.

Puerto Rico and the USVI’s small businesses surpassed each of the five categories’ goal.

“Over $750 million in federal contracting dollars were awarded directly to small businesses in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands last year. Moreover, record-breaking national numbers continue to be a boon to our small business community. The federal government is the largest purchaser of goods and services in the world; small businesses supply the U.S. government with the goods and services needed to operate,” SBA Atlantic & Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Steve Bulger said.

The SBA gave the following example of a recipient:

“The value of a federal contract is illustrated by the success of women owned firms like NV Services, whose owner is Neysa Varela. NV Services, LLC was established in San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2013 by licensed engineers Neyssa Varela and Nestor Vale as a response to Puerto Rico’s changing market. Engineer Neyssa Varela, is committed to improving Puerto Rico’s quality of life and economic development. She saw an opportunity in new, remodeling, maintenance and consulting construction services, in addition to the multiple contracting opportunities with the Federal Government as an 8(a) certified and WOSB firm. Her objective has been to manage small and medium size industrial and commercial construction projects with the advantage of 27 years of experience in the Industry.  Varela and Vale have managed over $200 million in construction projects. Her client portfolio features government and private entities including, US Coast Guard, PR Army National Guard, , US Corps of Engineers, The Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority , Puerto Rico Methodist Church, Sanofi-Aventis Pharmaceutical, Ponderosa/ Bonanza Restaurants, and Sartorius Stedim Biotech among others.”  

SBA Puerto Rico & USVI Acting District Director María de los Ángeles de Jesús said that last year “showed the tremendous positive impact government contracting can have on small businesses. Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands small businesses increased their revenues and customer base by selling to the United States government. The overall small business prime contracting goals have been established by Congress to ensure that small businesses get their fair share of federal contracts; and small businesses in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands performed quite well; over 12% of small disadvantaged businesses were awarded almost $367,000 in federal contracts while well over 16% of women-owned small businesses were awarded $122 million.” 

The federal government also exceeded its subcontract goals for awards to small businesses and women-owned small businesses and awarded more than $90 billion in subcontracts to all small businesses.  

The individual agency scorecards are available here.

The prime contract goal achievements by dollars and percentages for all categories are as follows:

1. FY19, in accordance with federal law, SBA  provided double credit, for scorecard purposes only, for prime contract awards in disaster areas that are awarded as a local area set aside and a small business or other socioeconomic set aside when the vendor state is the same as the place of performance (15 USC § 644(f)), for Puerto Rico awards  (15 USC § 644(x)(1)) and included in the calculation of FY19 government-wide achievements the 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.

The SBA explained that the annual Procurement Scorecard is an assessment tool to: (1) measure how well federal agencies reach their small business and socio-economic prime contracting and subcontracting goals; (2) provide accurate and transparent contracting data and (3) report agency-specific progress. The prime and subcontracting component goals include goals for small businesses, small businesses owned by women, small disadvantaged businesses, service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, and small businesses in HUBZones.

The FY2019 Scorecard analyzed the prime contracting and subcontracting performance and other contributing factors, which resulted in an overall “A” grade for the federal government. Eight agencies received “A+” while 14 received a grade of “A” and two received a “B” grade.

Every year, the SBA works with each agency to set its small business prime and subcontracting goals (each agency has different goals) and the agency’s performance is based on the agreed upon goals. The SBA ensures that the sum total of all of the goals exceed the 23% target for the federal government as well as the socio-economic goals established by law.  

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