Have Gov’t Contractors Been Impacted By Pandemic

This week’s discussion is on “Have Gov’t Contractors Been Impacted by Pandemic”. In order to make this determination I can reports through USASpending.gov. The results were surprising. In fact, two set-aside actually saw an increase in contracting dollars when compared to just a year ago.

Hi, and welcome to my channel. I am Nancy and today I look at have government contractors been impacted by the pandemic? If you have been like me, I have been curious if the pandemic has reduced the number of contracts issued by the federal government. I will be concentrating on the five set-aside programs. I also have been told by a couple of contractors that they have won contracts but could not start work yet. The results may surprise you.

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I am sure that I am not the only one wondering how much the pandemic has impacted government contracting. I decided to take a look at the numbers and see where government spending is today versus just a year ago. To make the comparison as fair as possible, I am using July 27, 2020, as the baseline. So when I retrieved the numbers for 2019, I used October 1, 2018, through July 28, 2019. That way, I am not comparing a whole fiscal year against three quarters of a year. Yes, I know that the Department of Defense has 90 days to enter their contracts into the system. But this should get us close to the numbers.


I used the USASpending.gov website to obtain the numbers for this video. USASpending extracts the information from the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) website. I find it easier to use USASpending than FPDS. I wanted the selection criteria to be the same. Here is what I used:

Time Periods:
2019 Date: 10/01/2018 to 07/27/2020
2020 Date: 10/01/2019 to 07/27/2020

Award Type:
Contracts IDVs

United States

Type of Set-aside:
Small Business (SB), SB Partial, SB Total, Emerging SB, Very SB Set-aside
8(a): 8a Competitive, and 8a sole source
HUBZone: HUBZone Sole Source, HUBZone Set-aside

Why am I including the categories I used in the selection criteria? So that you could also go into USASpending and produce your results. You may want to add your NAICS code and State to the requirements to create your results.

The Results

The results were surprising. The numbers were lower than in 2019, which isn’t surprising. What is surprising is the difference between the numbers. Now before I reveal the percentage, leave me a comment below with the percentage you think the numbers were.

8(a) Set-aside Results

For the 8(a) BD contracting dollars were only down 11.54% when compared with just a year ago. That is not what I was expecting. I thought that the numbers would be around a 20% decrease. See the chart listed below for a visual representation. Now let’s look at the next set-aside.

HUBZone Set-aside Results

Now before I go into the HUBZone results, let me know what you think they will be in the comments below. Drum roll, please!!!! The HUBZone results were a decrease of 11.03%. The decline is right in line with the 8(a) 11.54% reduction. Again, this decrease is not what I expected to see. The government could easily make up this difference and more in the next two months. See the graph below:

Small Business Set-aside (SB)

Now, I can tell you the results for the Small Business Set-asides are going to shock you. They had an INCREASE of 24.1%!!! WOW, that is excellent news for small businesses. WOW! Let’s look at the chart below!

Small Business Setaside surprises Everyone

So far, we have covered three of the five set-asides. I wanted to ask you if the results shown here have been in line with your thinking? Did the results shock you as much as they did me? Let me know in the comments below, please. Next, we will look at the Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses.

Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) Set-aside Results.

First and foremost, I wanted to take a moment to “Thank” my fellow veterans for your service and sacrifice for this great country. So, do you think the SDVOSB set-aside has increased or decreased when compared to last year? I will tell you I thought it would have reduced. I was dead wrong. SDVOSB’s had an increase of 1.36%. This increase was not as high as small businesses saw, but when compared to the other set-asides, it is a win. Let’s look at the chart.

Well, that leaves with one last set-aside to look at. The Women Owned Small Business Setaside.

Women Owned Small Business (WOSB) Setaside Results.

Of all the set-aside programs that the government has, I figured that the Women-Owned Small Business set-aside program would do better than it did. Presently, the WOSB set-asides are down 2.67%. Again, I look at the chart below.

My Thoughts

I realize that there is no right way to find out the impact that this virus has had on Gov’t Contractors. All we can do is look at the trends and see what they show. I wish there was a way to tell how many contracts were suspended, notice to proceed not issued, and stop work notices given. These contracting measures would have been a better way to measure the impact.

My original thought process was that the government would not have been able to issue solicitations and contract awards as fast as before the pandemic. As a result, the number of contracts issued should be lower when compared to a year ago. Now, there is a possibility that my thought process is flawed. I never said I was a rocket scientist. If you can come up with a better way to try to validate the impact the virus has had, please let me know.

In Closing

The data that I gathered was interesting, but there is no way to measure the impact that the virus has had on Government Contractors. At least, through the database systems. It might be better to conduct a poll and see the results.

I was surprised the small business set-aside numbers had such an increase. The 8(a) and HUBZone numbers did not surprise me. The number of certified firms has been decreasing over the last decade, and I expect that number to continue to decline.

You can find other articles here. I hope you enjoyed the video. Until next time please be safe.