During a visit to Screened Images Inc, a small business based in Quincy, Governor Deval Patrick today announced an Executive Order establishing a Small Business Purchasing Program (SBPP) to give Massachusetts-based small businesses greater access to procurement opportunities that will help them to expand.
"Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and are critical to supporting job growth and economic development across the Commonwealth," said Governor Patrick. "Particularly in these challenging economic times, we have a responsibility to support these small businesses and their workers so that they have an opportunity to succeed."
"Small businesses represent 85 percent of all Massachusetts companies, they employ over a quarter of the workforce, and are the first to start hiring again when the economy begins to recover," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. "Our Administration continues to focus our attention on providing small businesses with needed resources, and this new program will be a critical tool to assist these companies now and in the future."
The program, which will be run by the state's Operational Services Division, requires Executive Branch agencies and departments to target small businesses when seeking non-construction goods and services valued between $5,000 and $150,000. In its second year, the SBPP will expand to include larger procurements valued at more than $150,000.
In addition, small businesses will have free access for one year to SmartBid, a service providing account holders with automatic email notifications of Executive Department procurement opportunities and quick and easy online bid submission for resulting contracts.
According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), there are nearly 600,000 small businesses in Massachusetts. For purposes of the new program, the Commonwealth will define a small business as:
* Employing 50 or fewer full-time equivalents;
* Independently owned and operated;
* In business for at least one year;
* Has gross revenues of $15 million or less based on 3-year average;
* Is organized/registered to do business in MA;
* Has its principal place of business in MA; and
* Is a for-profit business
"Like state government, businesses across the Commonwealth have been negatively impacted by the global economic downturn we have experienced over the last two years," said Jay Gonzalez, Secretary for Administration and Finance, under which the Operational Services Division falls. "The Small Business Purchasing Program is a common-sense solution to helping our small businesses get back on their feet and in a position to create new jobs that will help our economy grow."
"Today is a great day for small businesses in the Commonwealth. This program demonstrates the Commonwealth's commitment to improving the climate for our local businesses, by directing our resources their way. For the state to commit to bypassing larger corporations in favor of small, locally-owned operations is a promising step in the right direction," said Senator Michael Moore, Senate Chair, Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Business.
"I'm proud to stand with Governor Patrick today who is continuing to move our state forward by addressing issues I've heard from small businesses who want to partner with the state to provide services but have struggled to access and procure contracts. These efforts will continue to position Massachusetts for a strong economic recovery," said Representative Linda Dorcena Forry, House Chair, Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Business.
Last year, hundreds of millions of dollars were spent by the Commonwealth on Small Procurements. Targeting these expenditures to small businesses will provide much-needed opportunities for thousands of companies to compete and win state contracts which in turn may help companies retain workers and hire new employees. Nationwide, the SBA says, 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs created every year over the last decade have come from small businesses.
Small businesses interested in learning more about the program may visit www.mass.gov\sbpp.