Gov. Shapiro signs executive order to help small businesses compete for state contracts
Shara Dae Howard
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Small businesses in Pennsylvania may now have a better chance at landing a state government contract as a result of an executive order Gov. Josh Shapiro signed Tuesday during a visit to Philadelphia.
Shapiro signed an executive order aimed at ensuring small and small diverse businesses have a better chance at landing state government contracts. Under the order, signed at Philadelphia’s Enterprise Center, the state will raise the revenue limit for small businesses to qualify for state contracts to $47 million, up from $38.5 million, set in 2018.
“Many entrepreneurs in and around the commonwealth have told me how hard it is to compete for state work,” the governor said.
The Tactile Group’s Marc Coleman says the move is long overdue. “Improving the ability to do business with the state, I’m really encouraged to see. We’ve been trying to do work with the state for years. There’s been barriers in the way. He’s removed some of them,” he said.
Zach Wilcha, CEO of the nonprofit Independence Business Alliance, says the order helps Pennsylvania stand out among other states. “We are … extremely proud that Pennsylvania is one of the few states that includes LGBTQ businesses as part of their diverse business enterprise definition,” he said.
Shapiro is also pushing for the General Assembly to change Pennsylvania’s definition of small business to one that has up to 500 employees, instead of 100. In addition, he says he will establish a council to advise state agencies on ways to make state contracting opportunities more inclusive.
Small business owner Carolynne Smith, who runs the Cecilia Global Group consulting firm, says the changes are needed, but so is follow-through. “I have to wait until I see it actually happens,” she said.
Shapiro says administration officials will form an advisory panel to help state agencies make contracting opportunities more inclusive.