For a second consecutive year, women-owned businesses continued to lose out on government contracts, at a faster rate than that of male-owned small businesses.
â€śI donâ€™t think youâ€™re going to see any of these figures rise. Historically, the government has never put a strong emphasis on women-owned small businesses,â€ť said Robert Burton, acting administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy under George W. Bush.
The disparity is alarming due in part to the governmentâ€™s effort to boost the number of contracts awarded specifically to women-owned small businesses. The government has never met its goal of at least 5 percent of total eligible contracts being awarded to women-owned businesses. According to federal data, the highest percent of contracts women have ever been awarded is 3.2 percent.
Margot Dorfman, chief executive officer of the Washington-based U.S. Womenâ€™s Chamber of Commerce says thereâ€™s â€śno incentive to encourage agencies to use the program.â€ť Further complicating matters is the requirement that contracting officers verify that businesses are legitimate, a process not required for regular businesses.
John Shoraka, the SBAâ€™s associate administrator for government contracting and business development, didnâ€™t provide a comment on the decline in small business contracts to women when asked by Bloomberg News.
â€śWe will continue education, outreach and recruitment of women-owned small businesses to the federal procurement process,â€ť he said in an e-mail.
Read More: Bloomberg News