(February 14, 2014) The Maryland Chamber of Commerce supports legislation that would require state procurements with an expected value between $15,000 and $100,000 be designated for the Small Business Reserve Program (SBR).
The SBR requires state agencies to reserve 10 percent of the value of their annual procurements for bidding by qualified small businesses as prime contractors. More than 6,000 certified Maryland small businesses participate in the program, though the program has never achieved its 10 percent target.
In 2012, the Maryland Chamber supported legislation to expand the definition of “small business” under the SBR program to increase competition for projects and help the State meet its SBR goal. The Chamber supports this legislation for similar reasons. The bill would expand the ability of small businesses to contract with the State and help grow jobs and invest in the local economy.
Zenita Wickham Hurley, Special Secretary for the Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs, said “A lot of businesses supported expansion of the eligibility requirements, but they wanted to see more contracts designated for the SBR program. HB 14 is a direct response to the feedback we got from the business community when we conducted outreach last summer.”
Meridian Mangement Group President Stanley Tucker, who is a Maryland Chamber member and active participant in the Maryland Competitiveness Coalition testified in support of the legislation. “Small businesses are the strength of our economy here in Maryland,” he said. “The more business these small businesses can obtain, the more people they employ.”
The legislation was heard by the House Health and Government Operations Committee on February 5. No further action has been taken. We will keep you updated throughout the session.