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Big time for small business

It seems state business is looking up for small business.

Betty Jo Toccoli, president of the California Small Business Association, said that this year a confluence of political and administrative factors will likely make the state contracting landscape much easier to traverse for small-business owners than in the past.

“We have a lot of bills that will help procurement this year, more so than before,” Toccoli said. “[And] if there is more agency interest [in contracting with small businesses], that is because of the Department of General Services, and particularly Secretary Rosario Marin, who is committed to making that happen.”

From office and janitorial supplies to IT services and road repairs, increasingly the state is contracting out more goods and services–nearly two billion dollars worth according to the most recent data–to independently owned businesses with 100 or fewer employees. So far this year 127,000 contracts have gone to small businesses and micro businesses, according to DGS. That’s up from 47,000 in 2004.

For over three decades California has offered incentives to encourage small businesses to vie for their share of available contracts. Currently, 14,025 state certified small businesses are eligible for a bid preference of 5 percent on jobs; all things equal, a small business (or larger-sized prime contractor who subcontracts out at least 25 percent of the bid to small companies) wins the contract. The reason d’


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