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Pentagon officials see ‘troubling’ small business decline since COVID


WASHINGTON ― Over recent months, the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency has awarded hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts for the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic, but that’s not necessarily benefitting the Defense Department’s usual vendors.


In fact, the Pentagon contracting arm is seeing fewer small businesses in its traditional supplier base competing for contracts in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the director of the DLA’s Office of Small Business Programs, Dwight Deneal, said Tuesday.


“Our percentages [of small business involvement] are as high as they’ve ever been over the past five years, but we are recognizing that the participation level from our supplier base’s standpoint has steadily declined,” Deneal said at a small business panel at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual meeting, which was being conducted virtually.


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