Small businesses play a vital role in America's economy, creating two out of every three new jobs. Washington has a thriving small business community with more than 530,000 small businesses, employing over half of Washington's private sector work force.
Contracting with the federal government provides small businesses access to the world's largest buyer of goods. In fact, small business government contracting is a win-win: Small businesses have the opportunity to grow and create jobs benefiting their community, and the federal government gets access to some of the most innovative and nimble entrepreneurs.
Increasing small business contracting at Hanford will benefit the Tri-City economy. Encouraging small businesses to bid as prime contractors only enhances their development, viability and visibility.
By increasing competition -- since the contracts will not automatically go to the large research facilities -- it can save taxpayers money. And help small business owners obtain even more government contracts.
Furthermore, if a small business chooses not to pursue opportunities as a prime contractor, there will still be significant subcontracting dollars available under the large Management and Operation Contract at Hanford.
The SBA stands ready to assist Washington's small businesses pursue government contracting opportunities through our countless free resources, including our two local district offices and counseling partners and our online government contracting training portal.
CALVIN GOINGS, Seattle
Editor's note: Calvin Goings is the Small Business Administration's regional administrator for Region X.