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This paper garners information crucial to understanding business growth for new entrants and small businesses who contract with the federal government by utilizing publicly available contracting data from the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) to track new entrants from 2001-2016. This information is then used to evaluate entrances, exits, and status changes among federal vendors with the purpose of comparing challenges faced by small businesses with those of larger ones. Measuring market trends over time and in multiple sectors shows how the challenges facing small businesses, such as market barriers to entry and imperfect competition, keep them from growing. The final results compare the survival rates between small and non-small new entrants contracting with the federal government and analyze the graduation rates for those small new entrants who grew in size during the observation period and survived after ten years. The study finds that around 40 percent of new entrants exit the market for federal contracts after three years, around 50-60 percent after five years, and only about one-fifth of new entrants remain in the federal contracting arena in the final year of observation. Across the six samples studied, thegraduation rates of small businesses consistently decrease.