Unprecedented Growth: Pennsylvania Ups the Ante on Small Business Opportunities

Pennsylvania Department of General Services (DGS)

HARRISBURG, PA — The Pennsylvania Department of General Services (DGS) has recently revealed a mid-year Small Business Reserve (SBR) report, highlighting the Commonwealth’s commitment to fostering economic growth through small businesses (SBs).

The report showed a noteworthy increase in prime contracting opportunities for SBs during the first half of the 2023-24 fiscal year. With a staggering $22 million spent on SB prime contracts, up from 321 prime purchase orders (POs) to an impressive 462, with an increased roster of 158 SBs, the Commonwealth is making strides toward a more inclusive and dynamic economy.

The SBR program focuses on creating prime contracting opportunities for all types of SBs, including Small Diverse Businesses (SDBs) and Veteran Business Enterprises (VBEs) – a clear reflection of the Shapiro-Davis Administration’s dedication to creating opportunities for all.

Notably, DGS Secretary Reggie McNeil spoke on the administration’s unwavering support for SBs, promising continued efforts to level the playing field for these organizations to compete for Commonwealth contracts. Part of those efforts includes ongoing collaboration with the Pennsylvania Advisory Council for Inclusive Procurement (PACIP) to generate innovative solutions to further promote positive change.

Governor Shapiro’s Executive Order from September 2023 has accelerated these efforts, with DGS spearheading initiatives to boost operational expenses and engagement in the SBR program across Commonwealth agencies. Concurrently, the PACIP, established under the same Executive Order, advises on ways to improve state contracting opportunities.

Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis echoed this commitment, stating, “Our Administration recognizes that there is more work to be done – and the PACIP will continue to work with DGS and Commonwealth agencies to increase prime contracting opportunities and create ladders of opportunity for every Pennsylvanian looking to do business with the Commonwealth and build generational wealth.”

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In a progressive move, Secretary McNeil announced recently that the revenue limit for small business classification has been increased from $38.5 million to $47 million. This move, reflecting inflation adjustments, enables more small businesses to qualify for Commonwealth contracts.

Last year, the Commonwealth hit a milestone. As per the 2022-23 Small Business Opportunities Program Annual Report, for the first time ever, more than $1 billion was spent with SBs, SDBs, and VBEs, marking a historic commitment to economic diversity.

This record expenditure demonstrates the Commonwealth’s profound impact on Pennsylvania’s economy as a significant purchaser of goods and services. State contract payments alone to small businesses in 2022-23 supported over 11,700 jobs, and resulted in an estimated $220 million in taxes revenue at the federal, state, and local levels.

“This Administration recognizes that small businesses are the engine that drives the Pennsylvania economy,” said DGS Deputy Secretary for BDISBO Kerry L. Kirkland. “Our goal is to expand opportunities for these businesses through Commonwealth contracting to help them grow, prosper, and flourish.”

As Pennsylvania strides into a new fiscal year, these figures shine a spotlight on the weight of small businesses’ contribution to our economy, while underlining the Commonwealth’s determination to pave the way to a more inclusive and prosperous future.

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