Business owners with disabilities added to state's supplier diversity efforts

April 25, 2014

Businesses owned by individuals with disabilities and certain small businesses will now be included in the state’s supplier diversity efforts thanks to an executive order signed by Gov. Jack Markell March 26.

Present to celebrate the new executive order were members of the governor’s Supplier Diversity Council; two cabinet secretaries, Housing, and Management and Budget, with their staff; supplier diversity liaisons from various state agencies; and iNovo Applications Inc., which is a start-up business that is eligible for both new programs created under the order.

Executive Order 44 expands the scope of the governor’s Supplier Diversity Council to include the study and consideration of how the State of Delaware does business with enterprises owned by individuals with disabilities as well as certain small businesses. The order also creates the new Small Business Focus program.

Businesses are eligible for the SBF program based upon their size, which is measured by the number of employees (between 25 and 250 FTEs) and gross sales averaged over a three-year period up to $7 million. Any business in the SBF program must operate free from the control of a business larger than the eligibility size caps.

“We are committed to ensuring business owners with disabilities and small businesses are afforded the same opportunities as others,” said Markell. “This executive order goes a step further in assisting these businesses in procurement with the state.”

The goal of the Supplier Diversity Council is to advocate for supplier diversity initiatives, and because of the contribution business owners with disabilities and small businesses of varying sizes make to the economic strength of the state, members of the council felt it was time to recognize and assist them.

The SBF Program will increase opportunity for small businesses to participate in state procurement by creating a registry of small businesses eligible for the program; measuring and analyzing spending on current and future procurement with the businesses eligible for the program; and revising agency Supplier Diversity Plans to direct state agencies to access the SBF Program Registry when making under-threshold procurements.

For more information on the efforts of the Office of Supplier Diversity, go to


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