Hanford's prime contractors spent more than $750 million on goods and services from small businesses in fiscal 2009.
As the Department of Energy issues new contracts at Hanford, it has required that a percentage of subcontracts be awarded to small businesses as a way to make sure that they have a fair shot at winning federal work.
"We're anxious to work with any small business that can meet the qualifications to safely perform work at Hanford," said Rodney Harrison, Washington Closure Hanford procurement and property manager.
Although DOE contracts don't specify that the money to meet subcontracting requirements be spent with businesses near Hanford in the Mid-Columbia or even the Northwest, local businesses have won a good share of the small business subcontracts.
Economists figure that one job at Hanford supports 1.8 jobs off Hanford, said Gary Petersen, vice president of Hanford programs for the Tri-City Development Council. But the subcontracting appears to make that impact greater for small businesses near Hanford, he said.
"It really has a compounding affect," he said.
DOE includes links to its contractors at hanford.gov and the contractors include procurement information, such as upcoming subcontracting opportunities, on their individual websites.
Here's the breakdown on local and small business spending by Hanford's largest prime contractors in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30:
w Washington River Protection Solutions, which operates the Hanford tank farms where radioactive waste is stored underground, spent $37 million on subcontracts to small businesses in Benton, Franklin and Yakima counties. It spent an additional $6 million with small businesses in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Total small business spending was $71 million.
w Bechtel National, which is building the vitrification plant, spent $90.4 million on subcontracts with large and small local businesses and a total of $129.2 million with Washington and Oregon businesses. That's 54 percent of its total subcontracts. The total spent with just small businesses anywhere was $98 million.
w Washington Closure Hanford, which is cleaning up the environment near the Columbia River, subcontracted $163 million of work, including $75.5 million in Benton, Franklin and Yakima counties. About 93 percent of its subcontracted work went to small businesses, easily beating its contract requirement of 65 percent.
w CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co., which is cleaning up central Hanford, awarded $366 million to small businesses to meet the company goal of placing more than 49 percent of subcontracted work with small businesses. The small business subcontract awards included $127 million of federal economic stimulus money.
w Mission Support Alliance, which began supplying sitewide services to DOE and all Hanford contractors under a new contract Aug. 24, had awarded $87 million in subcontracts by Sept. 30. That included some multi-year contracts. About $41 million was awarded to small businesses and $60 million to businesses in the Mid-Columbia.
For the current fiscal year it has a goal to subcontract $145 million, with 50 percent to small businesses. About 65 percent to 75 percent of the value of subcontracts is estimated to be awarded to Mid-Columbia business.
w Fluor Hanford, an outgoing contractor replaced by Mission Support Alliance, spent about $25 million with small businesses. About 84 percent went to local businesses.