Governor Lamont Highlights Streamlining Updates to State’s Small and Minority Business Program
HARTFORD, CT (STL.News) Governor Ned Lamont today visited Freeman Companies, LLC in Hartford to announce updates to the State of Connecticut’s small and minority business program that have gone into effect as of October 1, and to encourage small and minority-owned businesses to participate in the program and do business with the state.
A new law the governor signed this summer, Public Act 21-76, modifies the definition of a “small business enterprise” to conform with federal guidelines. This change will eliminate confusion, allowing just one definition, rather than separate definitions at the state and federal levels. The federal guidelines are based on industry-specific size standards, rather than the previous single standard across all industries.
In addition to enhancing opportunities to do business with the state, this update also has the potential to provide greater exposure to Connecticut small businesses with the federal procurement opportunities.
Going forward, Connecticut small businesses will need to register in the Federal System for Awards Management System (SAM.gov) as a small business utilizing the industry size standards. The State Small Business certification application will include a verification method to ensure the business is registered in the System for Awards Management System.
“Connecticut is a great place to do business, and we continue to take steps to make it easier for our small and minority owned businesses to work with the state, and grow and thrive here,” Governor Lamont said. “Our hope is that every small step we take can help build opportunities for more residents and entrepreneurs. My message today is simple – join us and participate in this program. We know that the bigger the bench of experienced businesses we have to collaborate with, the more successful we can be in serving our residents.”
“We have been taking a significant number of steps to make sure it’s as easy as possible to do business with the state and that we have qualified, diverse contractors with which to work,” Connecticut Department of Administrative Services Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Josh Geballe said. “This step forward will help eliminate barriers, unnecessary paperwork, and confusion surrounding the small and minority owned business program, and ultimately create more opportunities for Connecticut’s businesses.”
“Small businesses are expanding and contributing to our economy at every level,” Catherine Marx, the Connecticut district director for the U.S. Small Business Administration, said. “By better competing for and winning government contracts, entrepreneurs are driving job creation, innovation and growth for our state and region. Connecticut’s efforts to streamline small and minority business registration will ensure that our federal and state governments gain access to the new ideas that these small businesses provide while enhancing economic opportunities for disadvantaged socio-economic groups.”
“As a small and minority business, active involvement in the state’s SMBE program has been vital to the firm’s growth and success,” Rohan Freeman, president and CEO of Freeman Companies, said. “Not only has it offered opportunities for new business and quality project work, but its agency development programs, support, and resources have provided us access to a wealth of knowledge that has helped guide how we run the company. As an active SMBE, we see our peers whose growth is limited only by their ability to complete paperwork and navigate the public process. The state’s initiative to streamline these essential processes offers these small and minority firms an achievable pathway to success.”
There are currently about 2,457 businesses certified in the program, of which there are 1,367 certified as minority-owned businesses.