Despite being an incredibly challenging fiscal year, FY-20 brought about INL’s highest small business annual subcontracting and purchasing. The lab spent around $352.5 million with small businesses, which made up over 66% of the spend on goods and services. INL also exceeded all five of its specific small business spending goals, including small disadvantaged, HUBZone, women-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, and Idaho-based businesses.
This unusually high spend for goods and services occurred in large part due to the success of INL’s growing missions, including a thriving construction portfolio, expanding cybersecurity research and a heightened business need generated by the advanced nuclear projects slated for the INL desert Site.
Along with these exciting new mission developments, the lab’s high attainment is especially impressive in light of the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic presented to businesses. Standard spending habits decreased significantly during the beginning phases of the pandemic, and efforts instead shifted toward purchasing items necessary to keep the lab safe, including hand sanitizer, disinfectants and cleaning supplies, and masks, in addition to filling consistent PPE needs not related to COVID-19.
This shifted focus allowed the lab to support several local small businesses in their extraordinary efforts to provide innovative solutions to overwhelming need during the pandemic. Even as COVID-19-related needs die down, these lasting partnerships will continue to benefit INL and the southeastern Idaho community.
INL is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory that performs work in each of DOE’s strategic goal areas: energy, national security, science and environment. INL is the nation’s center for nuclear energy research and development. Day-to-day management and operation of the laboratory is the responsibility of Battelle Energy Alliance.