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Idaho National Laboratory spent a record $316 million with small businesses in fiscal year 2021.

Idaho National Laboratory broke its record this fiscal year in small business attainment, demonstrating the lab’s commitment to small businesses.

The lab announced in a news release it spent about $316 million with small businesses in fiscal year 2021, which made up more than 71 percent of the lab’s spending on goods and services.

“Small businesses are vital right now to our work and will be even more important as we grow,” said INL Director John Wagner in the release. “They are laser focused on their areas of expertise, and as an organization, INL benefits greatly from that focus.”

Many of the businesses were represented by socioeconomic disadvantaged groups, the release said. The lab exceeded all five of its specific socioeconomic goals including small disadvantaged, HUBZone (Historically Under-utilized Business Zones), women-owned, service-disabled, veteran-owned and Idaho-based businesses.

Battelle Energy Alliance — which runs Idaho National Laboratory on a 10-year contract — targeted 51 percent of its laboratory procurement spending, or $240 million, with small businesses, according to the lab’s Fiscal Year 2021 Small Business Subcontracting Plan. It also has targeted 5 percent of its procurement spending, or $23.5 million, with 8(a) businesses, or small businesses owned by people from disadvantaged backgrounds that receive federal assistance with contracts, and 5 percent (also $23.5 million) with Women-Owned Small Business.

“Battelle Energy Alliance is committed to supporting the small business objectives of the U.S. government and the Department of Energy and recognizes that diversity in subcontracting provides a vital link to the local community, strengthens the economy, and represents best business practices,” INL said in its Fiscal Year 2021 Small Business Subcontracting Plan.

Much of INL’s spending for goods and services with these businesses occurred in projects that included the lab’s construction portfolio, cybersecurity research and a heightened business need generated by the advanced nuclear projects slated for the INL desert site, the release said.

“We saw excellent support not only in our operations groups like Facilities and Site Services and Information Management,” said Small Business Program Manager Stacey Francis in the release. “But also across the mission organizations as we engage in expanding research across the lab.”

The lab had 316 business partners across the state, according to an INL graphic that accompanied the release. More than half of those partners (188) are located in eastern Idaho, where INL spent $135.7 million.

INL will continue its focus on small business spending in fiscal year 2022, the release said.

“We will continue to look for small business partners who can assist us in providing excellent support as we continue to grow our missions,” Francis said in the release.

INL buys a diverse range of materials and services including commodities, equipment, information technology, services and construction, according to the lab’s website. Examples within each area are listed below:

• Commodities: office supplies; laboratory supplies; chemicals; industrial supplies; fasteners; tools; clothing; gasses; petroleum.

• Construction: new facilities; system upgrades.

• Equipment: capital equipment; heavy equipment; instrumentation; engineered hardware; nuclear fuels; reactor spare parts.

• Information technologies: workstations; specialty software; servers; services; software telecommunications services and equipment; equipment systems; personal computers.

• Services (technical services): engineering; civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, landscaping; environmental support; environmental sampling, facility support; maintenance; university research and development.

More information on how small businesses can engage with INL is available at procurement.inl.gov.