OKLAHOMA CITY – The Senate General Government Committee unanimously approved a measure Thursday to see how state contracts are distributed between newer, small businesses and larger, more established companies in the state. Senate Bill 812’s author, Sen. Jo Anna Dossett, D-Tulsa, said she filed the bill to encourage more entrepreneurial activity in the state.
“Oklahoma has so much untapped potential and talent that we need to harness and support,” Dossett said. “One way we can do this is by ensuring state contracts are being awarded to our younger companies and businesses, not just the larger, more established ones. This bill will help with this effort by tracking how many state contracts are being awarded to those companies that have been in business for less than five years. Small businesses make up a majority of our state’s economy, so it’s important that we do all we can to support those newer enterprises and help them as they grow.”
Under SB 812, the state purchasing director would be directed to track and report the number of state contracts awarded to young companies in operation for five years or less.
According to the U.S. Census and statistics from the Tax Foundation and Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, there are nearly 351,000 active small businesses in Oklahoma, accounting for more than 99% of all businesses in the state. These businesses employ over 712,500 people, making up more than half of the state’s workforce. On average, Oklahoma startups create at least five jobs in their first year, which is the 13th highest average in the nation, and they also have a startup survival rate of nearly 82%, which is also one of the nation’s highest.
SB 812 will now go before the full Senate for consideration.
For more information, contact: Sen. Dossett: (405) 521-5624 or JoAnna.Dossett@oksenate.gov