Governor Gretchen Whitmer closed out her first week in office by signing yet another executive directive. This is the 8th one she has signed this week.
The new directive is aimed at helping small businesses. It requires the state Department of Technology, Management, and Budget to work out a plan to increase the state’s contracts with and purchases from small businesses.
Whitmer says this doesn’t mean the state will have to pay more for these products and services. Instead, she says this is about giving small businesses a chance to compete.
“I think that that’s something that benefits everyone in the state. Certainly small businesses, but the taxpayers as well,” she says.
The directive specifically targets businesses in geographically-disadvantaged areas, like in Qualified Opportunity Zones and those certified as a small business concern by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Michelle Sourie Robinson is with the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council, a non-profit that works with minority business enterprises. She says this will help meet their members’ needs.
“One of the things our constituents said is, we need access and simply want to be able to compete as everyone else competes. To be able to be a part of state procurement,” she says.
Rich Studley is with the Michigan Chamber of Commerce – it represents members of the business community. He said in a statement that members say being a government contractor already “involves a lot of rules, regulations, and paperwork.”