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News | May 2, 2022

DLA celebrates small business partnerships, connects owners with new opportunities

By Beth Reece

Many Americans will shop small and local during National Small Business Week May 1-7. At the Defense Logistics Agency, employees will celebrate the contributions of small businesses that make up 80% of the agency’s suppliers.

“Small businesses are essential to our ability to support warfighters and other federal agencies,” said DLA Small Business Deputy Director Chris Hall. “Their agile and innovative ideas enable us to support military readiness and overcome logistical and sustainment challenges.”

DLA procures everything from aircraft parts and military uniforms to batteries from small businesses. Their manufacturing capabilities help address critical supply chain gaps and security threats in areas such as the nuclear enterprise and limited parts availability for aging weapons systems. 

“Small business and competition usually go hand in hand, and this is one of the areas where the Defense Department has called on DLA and other agencies to leverage small businesses to grow the industrial base and make procurements more competitive,” Hall said.

DLA contracts for the TF33 engine that powers the B-52 Stratofortress bomber are recent examples of the agency’s success. As part of the procurement process, DLA vetted and approved two new small business manufacturers to make the parts. The contracts are worth $8.6 million over the next five years.  

Congress mandates that government contracting agencies award a certain percent of contracting dollars to small business each fiscal year. DLA’s Defense Department-assigned goal for fiscal 2022 is 35.10%. Last year, DLA met its small business goal for the 9th consecutive year and agency contracts with small businesses were worth over $13 billion. DLA also exceeded the 3% goal for the historically underutilized business zone program for the first time in over 10 years with the value of contracts exceeding $1 billion.

DLA small business offices are co-located with major buying commands to train and advise small businesses wanting to do business in specific supply chains. Those offices help develop strategies that increase small business opportunities for four socioeconomic categories: historically underutilized business zone-certified; women-owned; service-disabled, veteran-owned; and disadvantaged. 

During National Small Business Week May 1-7 and throughout the year, DLA works to help small business owners understand the agency’s mission, requirements and specific opportunities, Hall said. “Our outreach efforts focus on improving points of entry, recruiting viable participants in our supply chains or service centers, and diversifying our vendor base,” he continued. 

Small businesses can find a description of current business opportunities and learn more about how to do business with the agency by clicking on the “How to do business with DLA” button on DLA’s website. 

Registration for the following webinars is available at

  • May 11 – Deep dive into the Small Business Innovation Research Program 
  • June 8 – Doing Business with DLA with an emphasis on service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses 
  • July 13 – Understanding the DLA Internet Bid Board System
  • Aug. 10 – Doing business with DLA with an emphasis on historically underutilized business zones