Federal agencies awarded contracts worth $120 billion to small businesses in FY’18 according to a report released last week by the Small Business Administration.  The amount broke the previous record by $15 billion and equates to 25% of prime contract dollars, 2% over the statutory small business use goal of 23%.  Many agencies received an “A+” from the SBA for their small business use.  “The federal prime and subcontract(s) awarded to small businesses in fiscal 2018 equate to more than one million jobs created. Every contract that gets in the hands of a small business is a win-win for our nation, the entrepreneurs, their employees and the communities they support all across the country,” said acting SBA Administrator Chris Pilkerton.  Not all small business contracting news was good, however, as agencies narrowly missed their women-owned small business goal of 5%, awarding 4.75% of contracts to such firms.  The HUBZone gap was nearly 1%.  Awards to Small Disadvantaged businesses, on the other hand, nearly doubled the goal set for them, while Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small businesses exceeded their goal by 1.27%.  The only real surprise there is that the veteran-owned business number wasn’t larger due to consistent pressure on the Department of Veterans Affairs to buy from such firms at every turn.  As the fiscal year-end draws closer both small and large contractors need to understand the advantages of working with smaller firms.  The speed and flexibility they can offer fit well with the needs of an overworked acquisition workforce.