Support for small businesses has been a bipartisan effort promoted by policymakers for more than a century. The Department of Defense (DoD) has had mixed results in meeting some of its mandated small business goals, exceeding them in some industries while falling short in others. Part of the challenge may be due to the nature of the different industries with which DoD works and these industries' conduciveness to small business. Another part of the challenge may be attributable, in some measure, to the bewildering array of criteria for what constitutes a "small" business. In any event, overall, there is little evidence of the effectiveness of small business policies, but supporting such policies is likely to remain a concern of DoD for many years to come. The authors of this report research the general evolution of federal small business policy and how this has affected DoD, the challenges that evolving procurement needs pose to efforts by DoD to fulfill small business policy goals, and what the current practices of large private-sector firms toward small businesses suggest about the feasibility of DoD small business policies.
Table of Contents
Military Procurement and Small Businesses
Past and Present Small Business Policies
Defense Planning Needs and Small Business Utilization
Challenges to Small Business Utilization Goals and Responses to Them
Notable Dates Regarding Small Business Policy Initiatives