Businesses being trained on new state purchasing opportunity
Contact: Rene Abadie
HAMMOND – Area businesses are getting a crash course in the Hudson Initiative, a new purchasing program designed to provide additional opportunities for Louisiana-based small businesses to participate in contracting and procurement with state agencies.
In seminars presented by Southeastern Louisiana University’s Small Business Development Center, more than 100 representatives of area small enterprises recently learned the nuts and bolts of participating in the new program, which was created in 2005 by the Louisiana Legislature.
“The state of Louisiana and its numerous agencies represent significant buying power, and the legislature designed this program to channel more of that purchasing to our home-based businesses,” explained William Joubert, director of the Southeastern SBDC and the Southeast Louisiana Business Center.
Participation in the program is restricted to Louisiana-based small businesses, defined as independently owned and having fewer than 50 full-time employees and annual gross revenue receipts of $5 million or less for construction or $3 million or less for non-construction businesses over each of the previous three tax years. The program is race and gender neutral and is administered by the Office of State Purchasing.
“One of the benefits of the program is that in many cases competitive bids are not required when an agency does business with vendors that are registered under the program,” Joubert said.
Certification of businesses to participate in the program is handled by Louisiana Economic Development. Certification is available on-line at www.ledsmallbiz.com. Additional information and assistance is available from the Southeastern SBDC at 985-549-3831 or the Office of State Purchasing Help Desk at 225-219-4692.
Southeastern officials recommend that local businesses also periodically review newspaper advertisements for bid opportunities and register with the Louisiana Procurement and Contract Network (LaPAC), the state’s free on-line vendor self-enrollment program that sends e-mail notifications of bid opportunities.