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Small, Diverse, Veteran Businesses Received $4.5 Billion in State Contract Spending Since 2015

by Office of Governor Tom Wolf

Dec 16, 2022
Commonwealth Media Services

Governor Tom Wolf Tuesday highlighted his administration’s commitment to supporting small, small diverse and veteran businesses across Pennsylvania. More than $4.5 billion has been spent with small, small diverse and veteran businesses through state contracts since Gov. Wolf took office in 2015, and the Wolf Administration has set a record for contract spending with small, small diverse and veteran businesses two years in a row. In Fiscal Year 2021, Pennsylvania state government spent $955 million with these businesses – the highest total on record.

The announcement came as the Department of General Services Acting Secretary Joe Lee released the 2022 Annual Bureau of Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities (BDISBO) Report.

“I have always made it a top priority to support Pennsylvania’s small, small diverse and veteran businesses,” said Gov. Wolf. “I’m proud of how much we’ve accomplished and the positive effect we have had on small businesses across the commonwealth. From the outset, we wanted to make the state contracting process more inclusive, equitable and fair for small businesses. Over the last seven years, we’ve put our money where our mouth is with multiple record-setting spending years. This is about building an economy that works for everyone – including the small businesses that power our communities.”

The Wolf Administration has awarded more than $4.5 billion in contracts to small businesses over the past seven years, and increased program participation by 34 percent during the same time frame.

In Fiscal Year 2021 alone, the $955 million spend with small, small diverse and veteran businesses represented a nearly 10 percent increase from the previous record-setting spend total of $856 million – which was set just one year ago. Spending with small diverse businesses made up the highest percentage, accounting for nearly 11 percent of the total in this fiscal year. This fiscal year’s spend with all small businesses represents a 169 percent increase from 2015.

The nearly $1 billion dollars in contracts awarded to small and small diverse businesses in Fiscal Year 2021 generated 10,000 new jobs.

In 2015, Gov. Wolf signed an executive order that directed a consistent and coordinated effort to ensure diversity and inclusion in all contracting opportunities for small and small diverse businesses throughout agencies under the governor’s jurisdiction.

The executive order also established BDISBO to directly affect change for small businesses, veteran-owned businesses and small diverse businesses – businesses owned by minorities, women, service-disabled veterans, individuals with disabilities and members of the LGBT community.

“There is much to be proud of when it comes to our accomplishments in serving the small, small diverse and veteran business communities,” Department of General Services (DGS) Acting Secretary Joe Lee said. “The policies and programs we have been able to implement have laid a more than solid foundation that can be built upon for continued success in the years ahead.”

Acting Secretary Lee credited the implementation of three policy/program changes in Fiscal Year 2020 as a key point in the progress of BDISBO’s efforts. They are the Small Business Reserve (SBR) that enabled small businesses to compete as prime contractors on specific procurements; the implementation of goal-setting for SDBs/VBEs to set minimum participation levels on goods, services and construction procurements; and the creation of the stand-alone Veteran Business Enterprise program that set participation goals specifically for these businesses.

“We have been trendsetters when it comes to our innovation and creativeness,” said DGS Deputy Secretary for Diversity Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities Kerry Kirkland. “We have been able to commission the commonwealth’s first-ever Statewide Disparities Study; convene the first-ever DISBO Governor’s Advisory Council; and implement several other groundbreaking policies and programs to benefit small, small diverse and veteran businesses. The future is truly bright for these business communities moving forward.”

Goals for the program moving forward include conducting the follow-up to the disparity study; developing a capital and technical assistance program for small, small diverse and veteran-owned businesses; and continuing the promotion of legislation to statutorily establish BDISBO programs and policies.

Visit the Bureau of Diversity, Inclusion, and Small Business Opportunities for more detailed information on the new policies and programs as well as the Wolf Administration’s efforts to diversify state contracting and opportunities for small, small diverse and veteran businesses.

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