On Tuesday, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker made history by announcing Massachusetts would be the first state in the nation to recognize businesses owned by people with disabilities. This recognition is important because it allows the business to become part of the state’s official procurement chain as preferred contractor: a lucrative opportunity for those business owners who can meet the job’s requirements.
This change was just announced, so at this point, there are no target numbers in place for how many specific contracts would be awarded to companies owned by people with disabilities. The goal of the program is to have those benchmarks in place within two or three years. If you live in Massachusetts, are disabled, own a business and would like to sell your products or services to the state, now would be a very good time to begin familiarizing yourself with that process. Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Office has put up a large number of very helpful resources you can access here.
Selling directly to the government is one way small business owners increase cash flow and enjoy increased operational stability due to predictable demand. The State of Massachusetts purchases all sorts of products and services.
15% of people with disabilities are self-employed. Competing as a small business can be really tough. By recognizing companies owned by people with disabilities as a preferred contracting class, Governor Baker and the Massachusetts legislature have taken a real, meaningful step. Making the procurement system truly accessible may just radically change some Massachusetts’ entrepreneur’s life. We can’t wait to see who it is!