Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has signed an executive order with a number of consequences for for small-, women-, and minority-owned businesses (SWaMs), as well as service disabled veteran-owned businesses (SDVOBs). The order (EO 35) is directed at all executive branch agencies and institutions within the state that have statutory authority over procurement.
"Small businesses are a vital economic engine for Virginia, making up 97 percent of all businesses, but we know there is work to do to ensure they have equal opportunity to grow and succeed in our Commonwealth," said Governor Northam. "With this Executive Order, we are strengthening our commitment to expanding small business participation in state contracting and achieving equity for our women- and minority-owned businesses."
EO 35 tasks such agencies with achieving a procurement participation goal of 42 percent for small businesses (which, if achieved, would be the highest rate of such expenditures since 2004); requires agencies to submit SWaM plans for the maximal utilization of SWaMs and SDVOBs on an annual basis; continues the micro business designation program and institute a set-aside program for micro businesses for purchases up to $10,000, provided the micro business bid is within 5 percent of the the lowest noncertified bidder (a similar set aside is established for small businesses, with a preference percentage in the same amount, for purchases of goods and nonprofessional services of up to $100,000 and professional services of up to $80,000); orders that a new disparity study be conducted; requires primes to report compliance with subcontractor plans by using DGS's electronic online system (eVA), as well as ordering updates to that system.
The order also requires the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (DSBSD) to institute a number of new outreach and assistance programs for the purpose of developing the small business community.
Read more about the executive order at https://www.governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/all-releases/2019/july/headline-841467-en.html