TORONTO — Queen’s Park has announced it is eliminating the fees businesses have to pay to access procurement contracts.
Jeff Leal, the minister responsible for small business, made the announcement at the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council’s Diversity Procurement Fair in Toronto, a recent statement said.
Businesses can now submit bids for free on the Ontario Tenders Portal, waiving the previous requirement of a $300 submission fee per bid or $750 annual fee for an unlimited bid for procurement opportunities with the government.
Businesses will also now have free access to the Registration, Appraisal and Qualification System used by the Ministry of Transportation for road maintenance procurements, which previously required businesses to pay a $525 annual fee to access that system.
The province had previously announced it would target 33 per cent of its procurement spending to small and medium-sized businesses by 2020, the statement noted.
Ontario government ministries procure approximately $6 billion worth of goods, services and construction annually, working with 52,000 vendors on average each year.
“By eliminating procurement bidding fees, we are creating new opportunities for Ontario small and medium-sized (SME) businesses to better compete and grow. This is part of our government’s commitment to create the right conditions for small business in Ontario to succeed, including increasing government procurement for SMEs to 33 per cent by 2020,” said Leal in the statement.