WASHINGTON – Today Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), Chairman of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, released the following statement in response to the release of the federal government’s “Small Business Goaling Report” for 2006. The Small Business Administration released the report detailing the money each federal agency spent with small businesses, including to minority, women and service-disabled owned firms.

“I’m glad to see Administrator Preston has taken some steps to fix the faulty and misleading small business contracting numbers and hold agencies accountable, but these numbers should still be viewed with caution. Despite the federal contracting budget increasing by at least $20 billion last year, the percentage going to small businesses decreased and the government still isn’t counting the whole pie because of special exemptions and exclusions.

“It’s critical that we continue to improve the reporting system and count all contracts in calculations so we know the reality on the ground. It’s not about meeting the goals for the sake of meeting a number. Doing more business with small firms is good for our economic and national security because it diversifies our supply base. I will continue to review and analyze these numbers and will work with Administrator Preston to ensure that the entire government is truly meeting the small business goals.”