Small businesses have been called up to the big leagues as they now have the opportunities to compete for state contracts as heavy hitters. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett announced new efforts to provide equal footing for self-certified and veteran-owned small businesses to bid on procurements.
Troy Thompson, Press Secretary for the Department of General Services, said the Small Business Procurement Initiative will give companies with 100 or fewer employees and meet maximum revenue requirements a chance to prove they are capable of being prime contractors.
"For a long time, small businesses have been traditionally working on state contracts that are subcontractors for larger companies, and we've heard feedback from those small businesses who want to showcase their talents and their abilities as prime contractors and they can do the work," Thompson said.
The eligibility ceiling for revenue ranges from $500,000 for agricultural businesses to $17 million for general and heavy construction companies.
The governor also announced the expansion of the Small Diverse Business Program, formerly the Small Disadvantaged Business Program, to include all eligible veteran-owned small businesses. This will provide the same opportunities for such businesses as their small minority- and women-owned counterparts.
Thompson said veteran-owned small businesses have been steadily increasing. "According to our Department of Labor and Industry and our Department of Military Veterans Affairs, we know that many servicemen and servicewomen return from duty and start their own businesses," Thompson said.
He said it is difficult to tell just how long it will be until the effort's full effect is felt. "It was a program that was just announced yesterday, and we're excited about getting small business signed up so we can begin the process of identifying contracts to set aside and identify for small businesses to compete," Thompson said.