Governor McAuliffe has signed an executive order to increase the opportunities for small, women- and minority-owned companies to conduct business with the state.
The goal is to promote equity—and maximize the participation of small businesses in work that’s obtained through procurement and state contracts. He also set a high goal for the number of participants.
McAuliffe directed Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones to raise the state share of spending that goes to small, women- and minority-owned businesses to 42%.
“This will be the highest percentage of expenditures designated for small businesses in the history of the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
The governor added that more than 80% of Virginia’s SWAM businesses have fewer than 25 employees.
“These businesses also are at an inherent disadvantage in the current system as they compete with companies many times, ten times, their size.”
He said that’s why he’s creating a small business certification with a new micro business designation for those with 25 or fewer employees.
“Every contract that the Commonwealth makes under $10,000 must prioritize a micro business when feasible.”
He’s also directing state agencies to update benchmarks, implement initiatives to promote small business development, launch vendor-outreach training programs, and actively recruit small businesses.