A new Connecticut law designed to cut paperwork and expand access to state and federal contracts for small and minority-owned businesses took effect Oct. 1.

Public Act 21-76 streamlines the registration process for contracting programs and modifies the state's definition of a small business enterprise to conform with federal guidelines.

Federal guidelines are based on industry-specific size standards, rather than the previous single standard across all industries.

The Lamont administration says the law will improve state and federal contract opportunities for Connecticut small businesses and minority-owned firms.

Small businesses will be required to register with the Federal System for Awards Management System using the federal industry size standards.

Connecticut's small business certification application will include verification checks to ensure businesses are registered in the federal system.

Nearly 2,500 businesses are certified by the federal program, with 1,367 certified as minority-owned businesses.

Set-Aside Contracts

Each year, state agencies are required to set aside 25% of contracts for construction, goods, and services for state-certified small businesses. 

Rohan Freeman, president and CEO of Hartford-based engineering firm Freeman Companies, said involvement in the state’s SMBE program was "vital to the firm’s growth and success."

"We see our peers whose growth is limited only by their ability to complete paperwork and navigate the public process."

Freeman Companies CEO Rohan Freeman

“Not only has it offered opportunities for new business and quality project work, but its agency development programs, support, and resources have provided us access to a wealth of knowledge that has helped guide how we run the company,” he said.

"As an active SMBE, we see our peers whose growth is limited only by their ability to complete paperwork and navigate the public process.

"The state’s initiative to streamline these essential processes offers these small and minority firms an achievable pathway to success."