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McAuliffe Orders Spending on Small Businesses

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Governor Terry McAuliffe signed an executive order Tuesday in an effort to help small businesses owned by women and minorities. State agencies will now also have more requirements when dealing with them.

McAuliffe received praise and support from African-American and female leaders Tuesday afternoon in Richmond. Under the law, more state contracts than ever recorded in Virginia history will now be made with these types of businesses.

Executive Order number 20 under the McAuliffe administration attempts to level the playing field by giving small, woman- or minority-owned businesses a new chance.

"Virginians who start small businesses are living the American Dream, and they are making an invaluable contribution to the commonwealth's economy," McAuliffe said.

But up until now, many feel that large corporations and high-profit companies with short payrolls have drowned out opportunities for the rest. Under the new mandate, state agencies must grant at least 42 percent of contracts with these businesses. The governor says that rate will make history for Virginia and set the bar higher.

"It is imperative that we ensure a more transparent, equitable and inclusive procurement process for Virginia's small, women- and minority-owned businesses,” McAuliffe said.

As part of the order, McAuliffe wrote in the closing of loopholes and a more uniform process across agencies. This also creates a new microbusiness designation within small business certification.

"I am just excited and very pleased to be serving at a time when we have a governor that gets it,” said 63rd District Delegate Rosalyn Dance (D).

When members of the media brought up instances of fraud in other states with this system, the governor defended the executive order. "There's going to be no fraud. If you do fraud, we'll get you reported. You won't do business with the commonwealth again, and you'll go to jail,” he said.

Altogether, McAuliffe believes this fosters a more business-friendly and equitable culture. From here, he says weekly reports will arrive at his office to see how the new rules are working.

In an effort to make these opportunities fairer, McAuliffe says certification will also hang on a company having fewer than 25 employees and no more than $3 million in revenue.

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