If you did tell us about your experience. If you haven't, ask about your free business assessment. We'd really like to hear how you're doing. Please consider sending an update to the consultant or team member you worked with.


See Local Spending Trends & Statistics for the past calendar year. You can also view where dollars have been spent anywhere in the US.     Back to Checklist

Government Spending Trends In Washington


Source: USASpending.gov reports reflect Federal spending in Washington over the last five years there have been a total of 364,907 Contract & Grant opportunities valued at over $18 billion dollars awarded in Washington. Did you realize there was that many dollars entering Washington from the Federal Government? We hope your company was part of those federal dollars spent. Washington & the Northwest depend largely on government spending to meet the states needs.. The trend indicates continued growth, however with the potential reduction of DoD spending in Washington there may be a decline in spending so every business needs to position themselves to gain access to federal spending.

Washington Federal Spending

So how do you stay in the game? Staying competitive in a diminishing market requires agility, clear thinking, and a will to work harder than your competitors. Understanding the cause of a downturn and the impact it has on government spending is critical to continued success when the flow of opportunities slows to a trickle. That means understanding the market. It means being willing to adapt. Below are some statistics that may help.


How Agencies Are Buying?

The first order of business is understanding how the federal government does business. As shown in the chart below, agencies in Washington prefer Firm-Fixed-Price (FFP) contracts in the health care and social security administration above & beyond DoD spending. How does that impact your "spend?" In other words, how well do you know your company's cost of doing business? Are you on top of those costs, or are they on top of you and weighing you down in today's competitive marketplace?

Top Awarding Agencies

Where Are They Buying?

Next on the list is where the money is being spent. Below we have listed the top counties receiving government dollars. This leads some to think that federal contract opportunities in their region don't exist. However, a little research shows that even in remote parts of Washington opportunities do exist. The problem is identifying the who, what, where, and when, and learning how you can position yourself to take advantage of them.

Federal prime contract opportunities are only part of the picture. There's a derivative economy in many regions of Washington funded through federal, state, and local spending, an economy that may afford opportunities you haven't considered. That's another reason to contact WACommerce Consultant Team to learn more about your opportunities. Our experienced team, tools & reseources can help you understand the government market place, and be competitive bidding and winning contracts...




Top Counties Receiving $$



The Overall Picture

Nearly 40% of federal opportunities available in Washington are set aside for small business. That's over $7.5 billion dollars over the past five years which is remarkable record considering the federal small business utilization goal is 23%. Federal & State Agencies in Washington are doing a fair job putting small businesses to work, yet there were several billion dollars that were filled by larger companies when small business was not available or provide a qualified bid.

Equally important, however, are the "hidden" opportunities not set aside for small business. To position yourself for these opportunities it is critical to cultivate good relationships with Local Agencies & Prime Contractors, your local SBA, WACommerce and other industry organizations. That will help you be in line to take advantage of available subcontracting opportunities. It's equally vital to learn how to compete on larger acquisitions. The key to success in this area is developing strategic partnerships through teaming, sound market strategy, and by demonstrating a willingness to compromise and adapt. These factors are critical to your success.




Making the Most of Your Opportunities

Last but not least in the public sector market, and closely related to the subcontracting and teaming opportunities mentioned above, are the many programs available to help you level the playing field. These are the socio-economic programs administered by the federal government. HUBZone, women-owned small business, the 8(a) program, and others expand the possible prime and subcontract opportunities available to you. Call to learn about these programs and see whether you might qualify.

The chart below shows the relative number of contract actions by category. Notable is that while there were almost twice as many awards to women-owned small businesses than to HUBZone firms, the overall value of those awards was significantly less, indicating much smaller value awards going to women-owned firms. The second chart indicates the relative dollar value of awards to each category.




In State Spending

No record of spending would be complete without referencing state and local spending. While federal spending has increased in recent years and more contractors are competing for work and in some cases are missing out to out of state competitors, spending by state and local agencies has steadily increased as well... The $20.5 billion figure for FY 2014-2017 in the chart below represents the estimated spending per listed agency in local spending across all sectors. The message? There's more opportunities for you as a prospective government contractor in Washington than you might imagine, and WACommerce can help you find them!


2015-17 Biennium - Operating & Capital Spending

Agency       Estimate   Actual   Difference
Statewide $20,233,384 $21,529,564 -$1,296,180

Source: http://fiscal.wa.gov/SpendBienFund.aspx

Washington State Spending

The Hidden Economy

The record of government spending in Washington wouldn't be complete without reference to the billions in federal funds that flow through federal, state, and local agencies via grant awards and other financial assistance for education, agriculture, employee training, consulting and more... While not "government contracts" in the strictest sense, these awards are nonetheless government money being funneled into the state through Department of Agriculture, HUD, BIA, EPA, the Departments of Energy, Education, Health and Human Services, and others. As the chart below depicts, grant awards in any given year contribute a significant amount to the state's economy, especially in rural areas, and can generate local and regional contract opportunities outside traditional avenues of government procurement spending. Note that grant funding of in-state programs sometimes outstrips federal procurement spending by a considerable margin.

Funding Trends