NASA Touts Small Business Investment

Image: NASA

NASA is a *star* student of the Biden administration’s efforts to send more federal dollars to small businesses, earning an “A” for the sixth year in a row in a Small Business Administration scorecard released Tuesday.

The gradebook: SBA releases a small business procurement scorecard each year that measures how close federal agencies are able to come to the small business contracting goals set for them by the White House. In fiscal 2022, NASA exceeded its goals by 18%, earning it an “A” grade.

“NASA is investing in America by partnering with small businesses around the country and in every single state,” NASA chief Bill Nelson said in a statement. “Small businesses are integral to everything we do from finding first galaxies to investigating Mars and the universe to sending a new generation of explorers to the Moon through Artemis. Together, every advancement and achievement we make is for humanity.”

The $$: More than a third of NASA’s spending in fiscal 2022 went to small businesses, according to a press release. That amounts to $7.1B, including $3.6B in contracts signed directly with small businesses and another $3.5B that was subcontracted to small businesses by primes working with the space agency.

More details: The SBA scorecard evaluates NASA’s direct small business investment in several categories. 

  • Small business: NASA exceeded its goal of investing 15.75% of its budget with 18.42%, which also surpassed its fiscal 2021 investment level. 

The agency just missed out on goals in two other categories: 

  • Women-owned: It fell 0.65% short of its fiscal 2022 goal. 
  • Small disadvantaged business: It was just 0.14% behind on working with partners in this category, such as those majority owned by racial minorities.

NASA missed the mark by a larger margin in two other categories: 

  • Service-disabled veterans: It reached less than half of its goal.
  • HUBZone small business: It also only hit one-third of its goal for working with companies that are HQed in underutilized areas of the country.  

The agency was more successful working with primes that subcontract with small businesses, hitting or surpassing its goals in all five categories for subcontracting.

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