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INL spends $222 million on Idaho’s small businesses

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IDAHO FALLS — The Idaho National Laboratory spent $222 million with Idaho’s small businesses in 2019 — $135 million more than last year.

Every year INL sets goals on how much money it plans to spend with local small businesses. This year, it exceeded its goal by $41.5 million.

“We’re contributing back to our communities. We’re contributing back to the state. It just makes good corporate citizenship to invest back into the communities that we live in,” INL Small Business Program Manager Stacey Francis told EastIdahoNews.com.

In fiscal year 2018, INL spent $87 million with Idaho businesses. Francis said this year’s “procurement volume” was roughly double what it was last year. She said procurement volume is what INL needs to purchase to continue its work.

“It’s just that wide range of everything we need to do business here. It’s everything from paperclips to components that could potentially go into some of our laboratory spaces,” Francis said.

Idaho Small Business Awards | Courtesy INL

To find small and local businesses to buy from, the INL Small Business Team travels throughout the state sharing contracting and partnering opportunities. It also provides information about writing proposals for INL contracts.

INL sets socio-economic goals for small, disadvantaged, historically underutilized businesses, businesses owned by women and businesses owned by service-disabled veterans.

According to a news release, INL met all of its socioeconomic goals except one. It came close but didn’t quite reach its goal for service-disabled veteran-owned businesses.

“Our partnerships with Idaho businesses are invaluable to the success of INL’s operations,” INL Chief Financial Officer Dennis Newby said in a news release. “We are fortunate to have such high-quality resources throughout our state to fulfill the day-to-day demands of the lab.”

Since 2005, INL has spent $1.89 billion on Idaho businesses. A vast portion of that has gone to eastern Idaho businesses. Throughout the region, INL has spent around $1.4 billion.

“We are very committed to our use of Idaho business. We continually look for additional Idaho businesses that we can do business with. If somebody has something that we’d buy, they need to get a hold of me,” Francis said.

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