Wolf administration expands contract eligibility for certain small businesses

The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry held a forum in October at the Crowne Plaza Harrisburg-Hershey hotel highlighting the benefits of partnering with small and diverse businesses. The event featured two panels. Pictured (left to right:) A. Bruce Crawley, president, CEO and principal owner of Philadelphia-based Millennium 3 Management Inc.; state Sen. Vince Hughes, D-Philadelphia; state Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Philadelphia; and CEO and President of Hispanic advertising agency Mendoza Group, Mia Mendoza. - (Photo / Submitted)

The Wolf administration has raised the annual revenue cap for small and small-diverse businesses hoping to compete for government contracts in Pennsylvania.

The state Department of General Services on Tuesday said the revenue threshold for the state’s small-business contracting program has been raised to $38.5 million — in line with the federal government.

The program was previously limited to small businesses with annual revenue of less than $7 million for building design services, $20 million for construction or procurement of goods and services, and $25 million for information technology goods and services.

The new cap applies across the board for all business types.

The revenue cap was cited at a recent forum held to highlight issues facing small, diverse businesses.

Troy Thompson, a spokesman for the Department of General Services, said it is unknown how many more businesses will be eligible under the higher cap.

But, he added: “We expect to see our largest increase in the IT category.” 

In order to bid for state contracts, a business must register as a supplier with the commonwealth. It can then start competing for contracting opportunities and pursue third-party small diverse business certification, which is required to be considered a verified small-diverse business in the commonwealth’s program.

Small-diverse businesses, or SDBs, are businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans, disabled veterans, individuals with disabilities and members of the LGBT community.

In the 2017-18 fiscal year, small and small-diverse businesses received almost $536.7 million, or 11.3 percent of state contract dollars. That was up from $406 million in 2016-17.

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