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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Federal government meets goal for giving 23 per cent of contracting dollars to small businesses

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The government has reached its annual goal of giving small businesses 23 per cent of contracts for the first time in eight years.

Small companies received 23.39 per cent of federal contracts in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. The contracts were worth $83.1 billion. Small Business Administration head Maria Contreras-Sweet made the announcement Friday.

The 23 per cent goal is for primary contracts awarded by the government as a whole. All but five agencies met individual goals. Those five were the Departments of Defence, Energy, Homeland Security and Justice and the National Science Foundation.

The government didn't meet its goal to give small businesses 36 per cent of subcontracts.

House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves, R-Mo., who sponsored contracting legislation in recent years, wants the government's goal raised to 25 per cent.

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