Glossary of Small Business



In addition to the definitions found in 801 CMR 21.00 doc format of 801cmr21.doc
, which apply to all procurements for goods and services, the definitions found below apply specifically to the Small Business Purchasing Program (SBPP):


801 CMR 21.00 doc format of 801cmr21.doc
: the Code of Massachusetts Regulations which govern the procurement of commodities, services, or both, including human and social services.


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


ANF: the Executive Office for Administration and Finance; a Commonwealth Secretariat which oversees the Operational Services Division.


Attestation: to affirm to be correct, true, or genuine as an oath.


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Benchmark: levels of spending, as determined by the Operational Services Division, which Executive Departments will reserve for SBPP expenditures.


Best Value: a procurement decision-making approach which allows Buyers to evaluate criteria beyond price to achieve required outcomes, best quality economic value, timely performance, minimal burden on administrative resources, expedient simple or routine purchases, flexible alternative procurements and business relationships, competition, and continuing participation of quality Vendors while supporting Statewide and Departmental procurement planning and implementation. For example, lowest cost may not result in an award if the Department determines within the Evaluation criteria that the ability to deliver within eight hours has the greatest evaluation weight.


Bid or Response: generally refers to the offer submitted by a Vendor in response to a Procurement, Solicitation or Request for Response (RFR). Sometimes the term "Bid" may be used to describe the request issued by the Buyer.


Bidder: an individual or organization proposing to enter into a Contract to provide a commodity or service, or both, to or for a Department or the Commonwealth.


Business Directory : the Comm-PASS Business Directory, which is a "yellow -pages" style directory of all SmartBid subscribers, available online for anyone to browse or search. Each company is listed by goods and services categories, which users select in their custom profile, as well as by a variety of information provided through Contact Information and Additional Contact Information.


Buyer: a public purchaser, especially one with a login credential enabling access to post on Comm-PASS.


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Comm-PASS : the Commonwealth Procurement Access and Solicitation System or the official procurement record system for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts since 1997 and required for use by 1) Executive Departments; 2) awarding authorities conducting public works and construction valued at $10 million or more; and 3) any recipient of ARRA funds distributed by the Commonwealth, commonly referred to as "stimulus money." Comm-PASS provides free, Internet-based access to all public procurement information posted within the system.


Construction: the building of public buildings and/or public works, the procurement of which is governed by MGL c. 149, §44A-H and MGL c. 30, §39M. Construction is not subject to the requirements of the Small Business Purchasing Program.


Contract: a legally enforceable agreement between a Contractor/Business/Vendor and a Department. ANF, OSD and CTR jointly issue Commonwealth Terms and Conditions, a Standard Contract Form, and other forms or documentation, which Departments use to document the procurement of commodities or services or both. Contract records may or may not appear in Comm-PASS depending upon the Issuer's applicable procurement laws, regulations and policies.


Contractor: an individual or organization which enters into a Contract with a Department or the Commonwealth to provide commodities, or services, or both.


: also known as OSC, the Office of the Comptroller is an independent agency within the Executive Branch which works with Commonwealth fiscal officers in over 150 Departments to ensure the integrity, accountability and efficiency of the Commonwealth's fiscal operations. This office also oversees contracts in cooperation with ANF and OSD.


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Department: especially in Comm-PASS, the child organization within a parent-child pair identified as responsible for the Comm-PASS procurement record, as indicated above the record or within the Issuer's tab. See " Entity" and also " Executive Department."


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Electronic Signature:
pursuant to MGL c.110G, § 7.§; 1 et. seq. (the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act statute), an electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with a record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record. Process options in Comm-PASS may indicate Next Step, I Agree, Agree to All Terms, I Accept or other equivalent meanings. Electronic signatures are legally binding as specified in MGL c.110G, § 7.§


Entity: especially in Comm-PASS, the parent organization within a parent-child pair identified as responsible for the Comm-PASS procurement record, as indicated above the record or within the Issuer's tab. See " Department."


Executive Department : any office, board, commission, department, division, council, bureau, office, and any other agency now existing or hereafter established in the Executive Branch. Executive Departments do not include the Legislative Branch, Judicial Branch, Constitutional Offices, Elected Offices, Public Institutions of Higher Education and Independent Public Authorities. Executive Departments do not include cities and towns or other municipal bodies or systems.


Executive Order : a legal proclamation issued by the Governor by virtue of the authority vested in him by the Constitution, Part 2, c. 2, § I, Art. I. Executive Order No. 523 established the Massachusetts Small Business Purchasing Program.


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Fiscal Year: the year beginning with July 1 and ending with the following June 30, as defined in M.G.L. Chapter 4, Section 7. This time period may also be referred to as the "State Fiscal Year" and may appear with the abbreviation "FY," e.g., FY2010 denotes the period between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010.

For-profit: a business organized for the purpose of earning an excess of income over expenditures where surplus funds, if any, are distributed to owners or shareholders.

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE): the number of employees at a business when all employees, whether full-time, part-time, temporary or contractual, including employees of temporary help firms or subcontractors working for the business, are converted to a full-time basis. For the purposes of the SBPP, the specific FTE employment number for a business at the end of each calendar quarter (March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31) should be averaged to determine a business's most recent FTE employment level.


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Gross Revenues based on a three-year average: the average of a business's previous three year revenue totals. For a business that has been in operation long enough to file a Federal income tax statement, the annual average Gross Revenue will be calculated from the sales amount contained on the tax form(s). For those businesses that have been in operation for less than three years, the following applies:

  • For businesses operating for less than three years, average the business's previous two year gross revenue totals.
  • For businesses operating less than two years, use the business's previous year gross revenue total.


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Independently Owned and Operated: a business whose day-to-day operations are independently managed and controlled, through ownership and management, without undue influence by an outside entity or person that may have an ownership and/or financial interest in the management responsibilities.


Issuer: especially in Comm-PASS, the individual public purchaser and related Entity-Department organization identified as responsible for the procurement record.


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Job Aids: A step-by-step guide specifying the actions required to complete a system transaction offered by OSD's Training Unit.


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OSD: The Operational Services Division is an Executive Department within the Executive Office for Administration and Finance which serves as the state's central procurement agency. OSD oversees all Statewide Contract procurements and delegates authority for departmental contracts to Executive Departments. OSD enforces all Executive Branch procurement laws, regulations and policies and consults with ANF and CTR regarding Commonwealth procurement and contract matters.


Organized/Registered to do business in Massachusetts: a business that is legally eligible to conduct business within Massachusetts; a business meeting all filing requirements of the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


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Principal place of business: the location of the head office of a business where the books are kept and/or management works.


Procurement: the acquisition of commodities or services, or both, which may be made through an outright purchase, license, lease-purchase, lease, rental, fee-for-service or other method approved by OSD or authorized by law.


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Quick Quote: a type of request record posted in Comm-PASS by a public purchaser (Buyer). There are two types of Quick Quotes:


  • Free-form (FF) Quick Quote - a type of bid request record which is open to any Vendor who meets the Buyer's requirements. This functionality allows Departments and public entities to craft custom line-item quotes to any Vendor with a SmartBid account, an email address, or a fax number.
  • Statewide Contract (SWC) Quick Quote - a type of request record which is restricted to authorized Statewide Contract Vendors. This functionality allows Departments and eligible public purchasers within the borders of Massachusetts to craft custom line-item requests to only those Vendors authorized on Statewide Contracts enabled with the SWC Quick Quote function.


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Request for Response (RFR): the mechanism used to communicate procurement specifications and to request responses from potential bidders. An RFR may also be referred to as a "Solicitation." See also "Solicitation."


Response: the bidder's complete submission in response to a Solicitation or RFR; also referred to as a "Bid" or "Proposal."


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Small Business: 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 Comm-PASS SmartBid, accepts the participation agreement and attests to meeting all program criteria below, as applicable:

  • 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 IRS tax form of $15 million or less, based on a 3-year average; and,


  • 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.


  • 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


Small Business Liaison: the individual within each Secretariat or Agency charged with ensuring their respective Agency or Secretariat's compliance with the SBPP and with supporting the implementation, monitoring and enforcement of the Program and the coordination of those functions within their Secretariat/Agency. The individual may be an existing employee who has other duties in addition to those required of the Small Business Liaison.


Small Business Purchasing Program or " Program": a program created by Executive Order No. 523 pdf format of eo523.pdf
on June 29, 2010 for the purpose of supporting the existence and growth of small businesses which meet the Program's eligibility requirements by providing them with special consideration within the Commonwealth's procurement process for goods and services required by state agencies.


SmartBid: an online subscription service that allows users to leverage the speed of the Internet. SmartBid provides subscribers with benefits such as: 1) a custom desktop to track opportunities of interest; 2) automatic email notifications of bids that may match a subscriber's profile (based on the company profile one establishes in SmartBid), including amendments and updates for solicitations and contracts; 3) a Business Directory listing to advertise on and provide a direct link to the subscriber's website; 4) online response capability for paperless bidding; 5) a place to post interest for partnering opportunities; 6) the ability to withdraw any submission and/or resubmit, right up to the bid close date; and more. The SmartBid Custom Desktop is a feature of SmartBid which allows a subscriber to organize bids and contracts, save time on website searches, track open solicitations, review online bid responses, and view contracts from one organized page.


Solicitation: a type of bid request record posted in Comm-PASS by a public purchaser (Buyer). A Solicitation record, which may result in a contract, contains a Specifications tab, while a Solicitation record which will not result in a contract, contains an Intent tab. For Solicitations with a Specifications tab, and as indicated in the Description field of the Summary tab and the Rules tab, the Buyer may require or allow online response through SmartBid; or, the Buyer may restrict response to offline methods. A Solicitation may also be referred to as a Request for Response or a Bid.


Special Consideration: for purposes of the Small Business Purchasing Program (SBPP), policies issued by the Operational Services Division which include but are not limited to awarding specific dollar threshold contracts to eligible small businesses only and requiring additional preference be provided to eligible Massachusetts small businesses in the evaluation process.


Specification: especially in Comm-PASS, the Solicitation or Quick Quote record tab which includes the detailed request for goods and/or services required by the Issuer. Vendors must respond to the Specification in accordance with the Issuer's instructions.


State Agency: see " Executive Department"


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Vendor: a provider of goods and services, especially one with a login credential enabling online response through Comm-PASS.


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