Illinois gives small businesses a boost
New law allows more small businesses to compete for state contracts
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SPRINGFIELD -- Building on
his pledge to expand business opportunities for small-business
owners across the state, Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed
House Bill 4947 on Tuesday. The bill allows the Illinois
Department of Central Management Services to set aside more
contracts and allow more small business companies to participate in
the Small Business Set-Aside Program. Currently, about 3,000
businesses participate in this program, which gives a preference to
small businesses competing for state contracts. With this new law,
an additional 3,300 may be eligible to participate in the program.
In order to participate in the Small
Business Set-Aside Program, Illinois businesses must meet certain
criteria. To qualify as a small business, the amount of annual sales
is considered. The cap on annual sales was previously set at $1.5
million for retail businesses and $7.5 million for wholesale
businesses. The newly signed bill increases the caps so that more
companies can be considered small businesses when competing for
state contracts. Retail businesses with annual sales of up to $6
million and wholesale businesses with annual sales up to $10 million
will now be able to participate. As a result, more Illinois small
businesses will be able to contract with the state, which will in
turn help those businesses increase their annual sales.
The legislation was sponsored by Rep.
David Miller, D- Dolton, and Sen. James DeLeo, D-Chicago.
"This law will allow more small
Illinois businesses to compete in the bidding process for state
contracts and help them take the first steps toward success," said
Gov. Blagojevich. "I commend Rep. Miller and Sen. DeLeo for their
hard work on behalf of small-business owners throughout the state."
"I realize the need for small
businesses across the state to gain access to opportunities that are
available. This legislation helps ensure that small businesses
remain competitive," said Rep. Miller.
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The Small Business Set-Aside Program
allows for the chief procurement officer of the state of Illinois to
allocate a fair portion of construction, supply and service
contracts for award to small businesses in Illinois. In fiscal 2003,
the program awarded $5,914,888 in contracts for services such as
heating repair, carpentry, painting, window washing, mail services,
word processing and landscaping.
"The caps in the existing program were
outdated and did not allow for growth," said Michael Rumman, CMS
director and chief procurement officer. "Ironically, smaller
businesses that participated in this program in the past and which
were successful could, while still relatively small, grow too large
to continue in the program. HB 4947 will expand small-business
opportunities and growth. More contracts will be set aside and
additional small businesses will be able to participate."
4947 takes effect Jan. 1, 2005.
from the governor's office]