Hero image

Opening government procurement to more small businesses

Small businesses face barriers to entry in government procurement. A new report examines how B2B e-commerce is helping more small businesses sell to governments.

Small businesses are vital to the U.S. economy. In 2019 the Small Business Administration (SBA) reported that small businesses represent 99.9 percent of all businesses in the U.S.1 Federal, state, and local governments want small businesses to have opportunities to sell to governments, but the complexity of government procurement keeps many from participating.


To reduce barriers to entry for small businesses, many governments are simplifying the procurement process by shifting purchasing to B2B e-commerce stores like Amazon Business. More than 40% of the 100 most populous local governments in the U.S. now buy on Amazon Business.


In a new report, “Cracking the Government Procurement Code,” Censeo Consulting Group, a DC-based firm focused on the public sector, shares findings from 455 small businesses on the challenges they face in selling to government customers and examines the role B2B e-commerce can play in opening the door for more small businesses to sell to governments.


Of the small businesses surveyed by Censeo:

  • 93% report significant barriers to selling to government.
  • 85% agree that the overall procurement process is difficult to participate in.
  • 74% agree that the documentation required to respond to a contract is complex and makes it difficult to communicate their capabilities.


B2B e-commerce is improving procurement for both buyers and sellers—simplifying the buying process for governments and helping to level the playing field for small businesses.


For key takeaways from the report, read bylines from Anne Rung on Digital Commerce 360:

Online stores level the playing field in government procurement, Part 1

Online stores help small firms compete in government procurement, Part 2 


Anne Rung is Director of Public Sector for Amazon Business. Prior to joining Amazon in 2016, Rung was the U.S. Chief Acquisition Officer in the White House Office of Management and Budget.


Download the full report.




1. United States Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy. “Frequently Asked Questions about Small Businesses”. September, 2019

Product Updates