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Release No: 072-97
February 13, 1997


Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen announced today that in fiscal year 1996, small business firms received 23.7 percent of the Department of Defense's prime contract awards to U. S. companies. This performance is the highest small business percentage attainment in the last 30 years and equates to $25.3 billion out of $107 billion in total contracts awarded. Small business concerns also received $19.8 billion, or 41.8 percent in subcontracts awarded by DoD major prime contractors.

Secretary Cohen also said that DoD continued to increase its awards to small disadvantaged business firms, realizing record highs in both prime contract and subcontract awards to these entities in dollar and percentage terms. During FY 96, DoD awarded $6.9 billion, or 6.5 percent of its prime contract dollars to small disadvantaged businesses. In addition, DoD major prime contractors awarded $2.8 billion or 5.9 percent in subcontracts to these concerns.

The Secretary further noted that women-owned small businesses received $2.0 billion (1.9 percent) in prime contract awards and $1.6 billion (3.3 percent) in subcontract awards during last fiscal year. This accomplishment represents a combined increase in awards to women-owned small business concerns of more than $300 million and sets a record percentage for women-owned small business performance for DoD.

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