Barrar committee sets procurement goals for veteran-owned small businesses

State Rep. Stephen E. Barrar, R-160, led the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee in approving legislation that would establish state procurement goals for veteran-owned small businesses.

“This committee and the governor’s office have been working to ensure that Pennsylvania’s veterans receive the benefits they earned through their service to our nation,” said Barrar, majority chairman of the committee. “Small businesses are a major driver of our economy, and this legislation will have a positive impact on our job creation efforts and for our enterprising veterans.”

Senate Bill 623, authored by state Sen. Robert Tomlinson, R-Bucks, establishes a statewide annual goal of at least 3 percent participation in state contracts with veteran-owned and service-disabled-veteran-owned small businesses. The bill defines a veteran-owned small business as an entity that is controlled by a majority of persons who are veterans, having 100 or fewer employees.

Under the legislation, the Department of General Services, in consultation with the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, would be required to provide staff to assist veteran-owned small businesses, publicize procurement opportunities for them, compile a list of veteran-owned small businesses, ensure that they are solicited for each procurement, establish business assistance offices to encourage procurement from veteran-owned small businesses and prepare an annual report on the awarding of contracts to veteran-owned small businesses.

Barrar noted that the federal government has had a similar procurement program in place since 1999 for service-disabled veteran-owned businesses. Rep. Nick Miccarelli, R-162, authored legislation similar to Tomlinson’s bill.

Veteran-owned small businesses were also recently added to Pennsylvania’s Small Diverse Business Program, under the Small Business Procurement Initiative.  DGS is currently working with veterans’ organizations throughout the state to register them for the program.  More information about the Small Diverse Business Program is available at 717-783-3119 or at

Senate Bill 623 will now go to the full House for consideration.

During its meeting, the committee also approved House Bill 1020, authored by state Rep. Tony Payton Jr., D-179, which would authorize the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency to provide assistance to counties in planning for the consolidation and regionalization of Pennsylvania’s 9-1-1 centers.

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