Following through on the BC Small Business Accord principle “to create long-term growth opportunities for small business through government procurement”, small business owners were invited to share their ideas and experiences by completing an online survey, providing written comments or by participating in a series of sessions held around the province.
The online survey asked small businesses about their experience selling to the BC government and for ideas on how to make the process easier, by working directly with small businesses, government can identify ways to break down barriers and increase small-business procurement in BC.
October 17 to December 6, 2013
Formal consultations sessions kicked off in Victoria with about 20 participants with additional consultation sessions in Prince George, Dawson Creek, Kelowna, Terrace, Cranbrook, Smithers, and Richmond.
In total, 108 small business owners or representatives attended these consultations sessions, and approximately 90 people responded to the online survey. Hundreds more were also in contact with the executive project lead directly through email, face-to-face meetings, social media or by telephone.
Throughout the consultation process, small businesses asked government to:
- Tell them, through a variety of ways, what opportunities they have to access government business;
- Enhance the information and resources specifically targeted for small businesses related to selling to
- Make the processes for competing for government work as easy as possible.
Input leads to action:
An interim report summarizing the consultation was released on December 3, 2013 with the final report published in March 2014 for the Small Business – Doing Business with Government Project. In the report, the Province identified 12 recommendations to make it easier for small business to do business with government, including streamlining procurement tools and processes, engaging and educating vendors and collaborating on procurement projects:
- In April 2014 the Province successfully launched a short-form Request for Proposal;
- A more simplified General Service Agreement that was released in the economy sector in 2015 is currently being prepared for corporate use;
- BC Bid resources have been improved;
- The BC Developer’s Exchange was launched;
- 228 Business-to-Business (B2B) meetings were held at the 2016 #BCTECH Summit; and
- Contract award summaries above trade thresholds are now mandated to be proactively shared.
More information on the BC government procurement transformation initiatives can be found here