By Caitlin Coakley
Small contractors have had more opportunities in North Carolina than they have nationally, at least when it comes to reaping the benefits of the federal stimulus bill, according to data provided by the Washington, D.C.-based National Association of Small Business Contractors.
Of the $64.9 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funds that have been awarded through federal contracts, 19.2 percent has gone to small businesses, according to NASBC data.
In North Carolina, that percentage is more than double. Of the $350 million in projects awarded by the federal government to North Carolina contractors, 52.8 percent has been secured by small businesses. Six stimulus-funded federal contracts, from the Department of Commerce, Department of the Interior, Department of Labor and Department of Defense, have gone to projects in Mecklenburg County, and all of them have been awarded to small businesses.
Small-business counselors said they’re not sure why small businesses in North Carolina have had more opportunity, but they credit, in part, the support system in the state. The Raleigh-based Small Business and Technology Development Center and Fayetteville-based North Carolina Military Business Center offer small businesses assistance in getting the proper certifications and finding contracting opportunities.