Stains Still Set After SBA Scrub - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

The Small Business Administration recently released its 2006 Top 100 Small Business Government
Contractors report as a result of a self-described 14-month “scrub” to ensure that federal contracts were legitimately awarded to small businesses. The review removed $4.6 billion in incorrectly coded contracts from the SBA database.

However, critics found that the report was still fraught with inaccuracies including firms that outgrew their size classifications and companies that had merged with larger companies years prior. There were only six black-owned companies on the report, two of which were miscoded as small. World Wide Technology (No. 1 on the be industrial/service 100 list with $2.1 billion in sales) and RS Information Systems Inc. (No. 16 on the be industrial/service 100 list with $328 million in sales) were the two companies miscoded as small businesses. RSIS has recently been acquired by the majority-owned Wyle, a high-tech company (See “RS Information Systems Signs Buyout Deal,” Newspoints, February 2008.)

Compared with the $12 billion awarded to the Top 100 companies, only $319 million represent contracts legitimately awarded to small black-owned businesses.

“Government spending at larger firms is growing at the expense of smaller firms,” says Paul Murphy, president of Eagle Eye Publishers, a market research firm specializing in helping companies find new government business. “In 2006, there were 3,893 black-owned firms that were active federal vendors and who received a total of $4.4 billion in prime contracts,” reports Murphy. That is a mere 1.3% of total government contracts awarded.

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.