The U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory has once again demonstrated a firm commitment to partnering with small businesses by meeting all but one of its small business goals.
At the close of Fiscal Year 2019 on Sept. 30, Battelle Energy Alliance, which holds the INL management and operations contract from DOE, reported spending over $332 million with small businesses. This accounts for 54.9% of INL’s overall business spending, and substantially exceeds the $114 million amount set as a goal at the beginning of the year, which would have accounted for about 51% of INL’s spending.
Not only did INL exceed its overall small business goal, but it also exceeded spending goals with Idaho businesses, spending $222 million in Idaho, for a total of 36.7% percent of overall spending, as opposed to the $181.5 million and 30% goal originally established.
“Our partnerships with Idaho businesses are invaluable to the success of INL’s operations,” said Dennis Newby, the lab’s chief financial officer. “We are fortunate to have such high-quality resources throughout our state to fulfill the day-to-day demands of the lab.”
At the beginning of each fiscal year, new small business goals are negotiated as part of the lab’s DOE contract, to determine what percentage of procurement volume needs to be set aside for small business spending. INL’s contracts with small businesses are designed to provide materials and services needed to achieve its diverse missions, including items such as office supplies, fuels and information technology equipment, as well as construction services and skilled expertise in key research areas. The national statutory requirement for small business procurement is 51%. In both 2018 and 2017, INL hit 59.1% in small business volume, so lab leadership saw this as a very attainable goal. As part of their efforts to achieve statewide procurement goals, the INL Small Business Team travels throughout the state to share opportunities for contracting and partnering to do research, as well as information about proposal writing to increase a business’s chances of receiving an award.
Socioeconomic goals are also set for small, disadvantaged businesses, Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Zone businesses, businesses owned by women and service-disabled veterans, and businesses in Idaho. In FY-19, INL met five of its six socioeconomic procurement goals. They came close but did not quite meet their service-disabled veteran-owned small business goal.
“I am incredibly proud of INL’s strong commitment to working with small businesses and especially Idaho-based small businesses,” said Stacey Francis, the lab’s Small Business Program manager. “Small businesses are integral to our success, and we are excited to continue these positive partnerships.”