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Release No: 149-98
April 03, 1998


Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen today announced that in Fiscal Year 1997 small business firms received $24.5 billion out of a total $107 billion in prime contract awards to U. S. business concerns. This performance equates to a small business prime contracting achievement of 22.9 percent, which represents the third highest small business percentage attainment in the last 40 years.

Cohen also announced that the Department of Defense had a banner year in terms of prime contract awards to small disadvantaged businesses. In Fiscal Year 1997, the Department awarded 6.3 percent, or $6.7 billion, to small disadvantaged business concerns. This achievement equals DoD's all time record performance in Fiscal Year 1996.

In the women-owned small business program, the Secretary noted that the Department awarded $1.8 billion (1.7 percent) in prime contracts to women-owned small businesses last year.

Cohen pointed out that defense prime contractors subcontracted $22.5 billion (41.4 percent) to small business concerns during Fiscal Year 1997. This is the third year in a row that DoD major prime contractors awarded more than 40 percent of their subcontracts to small businesses.

In addition, DoD prime contractors awarded a record $3.0 billion, or 5.6 percent, to small disadvantaged businesses in Fiscal Year 1997. This performance represents the highest dollar accomplishment in the history of the subcontracting program.

The prime contractor community notably awarded $1.9 billion (3.4 percent) to women-owned small business concerns last fiscal year. This accomplishment represents an all-time high performance in both dollar and percentage terms since the inception of the women-owned small business subcontracting program.

Additional information regarding DoD Small Business programs is available on the Internet at www.acq.osd.mil/sadbu; or by writing: Director, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, Room 2A318, The Pentagon, Washington, D. C. 20301-3061.

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