1. What is the Massachusetts Small Business Purchasing Program?
  2. What are Executive Departments?
  3. What is a procurement?
  4. Why is construction excluded from the SBPP?
  5. What is an affiliate?
  6. I am a sole proprietor. Can I participate in the SBPP?
  7. I am already an SDO-certified vendor (formerly known as SOMWBA-certified vendor). Can I participate in the SBPP?
  8. What are the Small Business Purchasing Program Eligibility requirements?
  9. What is the SBPP Agreement?
  10. How do I declare my SBPP eligibility and accept the agreement?
  11. What does it cost to participate in the SBPP?
  12. What is the primary benefit of the SBPP and why should my business participate?
  13. What are the departmental goals for spending with M/WBE?
  14. I am an SBPP-eligible small business. does that mean I can be added to a Statewide Contract?
  15. What are additional benefits of the SBPP and Why should my business participate?
  16. Will I be able to obtain information from the SBPP about starting a small business or getting a small business loan?
  17. Is there training available for my business?
  18. I have reviewed information available on your website, but still have questions. Is there someone who can help me if I have a question but can't find the answer?

 

  1. What is the Massachusetts Small Business Purchasing Program?

Governor Deval Patrick recognizes the importance of Massachusetts small businesses and the impact and challenges the latest recession has placed on them. On June 29, 2010, he signed Executive Order No. 523 pdf format of eo523.pdf
creating the Small Business Purchasing Program ("SBPP"). The goal of the program is to increase state spending with eligible Massachusetts small businesses by providing them with special consideration when Executive Departments conduct non-construction procurements valued between $10,000 and $150,000.

Under the Executive Order, the Operational Services Division ("OSD"), the state's central procurement office, is responsible for managing, monitoring and enforcing the policies of the SBPP.

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  1. What are Executive Departments?

Executive Departments referenced in the Small Business Purchasing Program Executive Order include any executive office, board, commission, division, council, bureau, office, and any other agency now existing or established at a later date.

The Legislative Branch, Judicial Branch, Constitutional Offices, Elected Official Offices, Public Institutions of Higher Education and Independent Public Authorities are not included. Municipalities (cities and towns), which are separate from state government, are also not included. 

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  1. What is a procurement?

A procurement is the process Executive Departments use to acquire commodities or services, or both, through an outright purchase, license, lease-purchase, lease, rental, fee-for-service or other method approved by OSD or authorized by law. A procurement must meet Commonwealth laws and regulations and OSD policies designed to obtain best value while ensuring open, fair competition.

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  1. Why is construction excluded from the SBPP?

The SBPP is managed by the Commonwealth's Operational Services Division (OSD), which oversees the procurement and management of contracts for goods and services under 801 CMR 21.00 doc format of 801cmr21.doc
. The SBPP does not include vertical or horizontal construction procurements since both are covered under statutes outside OSD's authority, MGL c. 149, §44A-H and MGL c. 30, §39M , respectively.

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  1. What is an affiliate?

"Affiliate" refers to corporations or organizations which are related or associated as parent and subsidiary.

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  1. I am a sole proprietor. Can I participate in the SBPP?

Yes. If the ownership type of your business is sole proprietor, corporation, partnership, trust, LLC or a nonprofit, you may participate in the SBPP - as long as your business meets all other SBPP eligibility criteria .

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  1. I am already an SDO-certified vendor (formerly known as SOMWBA-certified vendor). Can I participate in the SBPP?

Yes, as long as you meet all SBPP eligibility requirements and you declare your eligibility and accept the participation agreement through Comm-PASS SmartBid. The Supplier Diversity Office certification, formerly known as State Office of Minority and Woman Business Assistance, has different requirements and processes for determining eligibility.

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  1. What are the Small Business Purchasing Program Eligibility requirements?

For purposes of the Small Business Purchasing Program (SBPP), Small Business means any entity, including all of its affiliates combined, is eligible to participate in the Small Business Purchasing Program if that entity, exclusively through COMMBUYS, accepts the participation agreement and attests to meeting all program criteria below,

    • has its principal place of business in Massachusetts;
    • has been in business for at least one year;
    • currently employs a combined total of 50 or fewer full-time equivalents in all locations;
    • has gross revenues as reported on the appropriate Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) tax form of $15 million or less, based on a 3-year average; and,

EITHER

  • for any entity attesting to Business Type "For-Profit":
    • is organized under the laws of the Commonwealth or is properly registered to do business in the Commonwealth; and
    • is independently owned and operated.

OR

  • for any entity attesting to Business Type "Non-Profit" (i.e. 501(c)):
    • is registered as a nonprofit or charitable organization with and up to date on its filings with the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office; and
    • is tax-exempt under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, i.e. organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c) and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual

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  1. What is the SBPP Agreement?

Companies which are SBPP-eligible must agree to comply with the following program terms or face sanctions including, but not limited to, loss of their SmartBid subscription:

  • provide true and accurate program information through the SmartBid account's My Profile features;
  • update the COMMBUYS account information if my company has any changes in the SBPP eligibility criteria in order to ensure accurate and complete program information;
  • provide additional information upon request to support the program eligibility information provided herein;
  • Allow OSD to release the information I provide in order to confirm my eligibility. This information includes, but is not limited to, revenue, number of employees (FTEs), hours worked and tax and wage information and data. I am consenting to the release of this information by OSD to other public entities including, but not limited to, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR), Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development’s Division of Unemployment Assistance, Secretary of the Commonwealth and the Office of the Attorney General;
  • Allow DOR to conduct such review and to release relevant confirmatory information to OSD;
  • Allow the Commonwealth to audit or make periodic checks of any of my business’s records pertaining to this program; and
  • Provide further information if requested, as it may need to be collected for verification purposes

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  1. How do I declare my SBPP eligibility and accept the agreement?

 If you do not have a COMMBUYS account, go to www.COMMBUYS.com and register. If you agree with the terms complete the Small Business Purchasing tab by answering all the questions.

If your company meets the SBPP eligibility requirements and you agree to participate, you will receive a one-year registration to the SBPP. Your company will be listed in the COMMBUYS Business Directory with a Small Business (SBR) value of Active. You will be vetted to the program through a DOR validation process. Effective November 2014 there will be a live interface with DOR to audit your eligibility to the program.

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  1. What does it cost to participate in the SBPP?

There is no fee for participation, the cost is zero. You must meet all SBPP eligibility criteria to participate in the SBPP.

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  1. What is the primary benefit of the SBPP and why should my business participate?

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts purchases hundreds of millions of dollars of non-construction commodities and services every year. Executive Departments will target SBPP participants for notification and award when procuring non-construction commodities and services valued between $5,000 and $150,000. Assuming there is sufficient capacity to ensure competition; Executive Departments will only evaluate responses received from eligible small businesses when procuring between $5,000 and $150,000.

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  1. What are the departmental goals for spending with M/WBE?

Each year the Operational Services Divisions’ State Purchasing Agent reviews benchmark recommendations for departments. The current benchmark for spending with SBPP has been set at 2.5%. For information regarding spending results please visit our website at www.mass.gov/sbpp

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  1. I am an SBPP-eligible small business. Does that mean I can be added to a Statewide Contract?

No. The SBPP will only apply to Executive Department procurements for non-construction commodities and services valued between $5,000 and $150,000 (small procurement).

In year two, the program will be expanded to include special consideration on Statewide and Executive Department procurements valued over $150,000.

However, at no point is a business "automatically" eligible to be added to a SWC.

To learn about competing for Statewide Contracts, review our COMMBUYS Vendor/Bidder FAQ's.

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  1. What are additional benefits of the SBPP and why should my business participate?

Additional benefits to SBPP participants include:

  • Inclusion in a Business Directory: Placement on a searchable, central directory of businesses through which a small business can market their goods, services, and experience directly to purchasing agents who may not be familiar with their company. There can also be a direct link from the Business Directory to a vendor's business website;
  • Free training: Access to free training on the Small Business Purchasing Program, the Commonwealth's procurement process and using the Commonwealth's e-procurement system (COMMBUYS);
  • Small Business Purchasing Program Website: Access to a user-friendly web presence with information targeted to the small business community at www.mass.gov\sbpp; and
     
  • Expanded business networking opportunities: Participating in the SBPP will increase your visibility; especially among state agencies, authorities, and municipalities. It will also provide opportunities to build capacity and credentials, grow revenues, establish a track record, and enhance your ability to compete.

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  1. Will I be able to obtain information from the SBPP about starting a small business or getting a small business loan?

For information on how to start your business and financial options please visit the Massachusetts Office of Business Development and the US Small Business Administration.

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  1. Is there a glossary of SBPP terms I can reference?

Yes, OSD hosts several training opportunities for the business community. For a complete list of training opportunities please go to the OSD web site at www.mass.gov/osd and select the OSD Events and Training link.

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  1. I have reviewed information available on your website, but still have questions. Is there someone who can help me if I have a question but can't find the answer?

Yes! Email our excellent Help Desk staff at comm-pass@state.ma.us. Our goal is to respond to all messages received on workdays between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm within one business day although we typically respond within the same day.

If you have a question related to training (e.g., you're having trouble locating or signing up for a class), send an email to the Training Team at osdtraining@state.ma.us with a subject line of "SBPP Training" or "SmartBid Training."

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