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Bureau of Diversity, Inclusion, and Small Business Opportunity

Taking Action Against Disparities

As a result of the first-ever Commonwealth Disparity Study in 2018, significant insight was gained into the challenges faced by small businesses (SBs) and small diverse businesses (SDBs) when it comes to state government contracting and the overall economy. Based on the recommendations of the study, Governor Wolf is committed to implementing policies and programs that will get the commonwealth on a path of improvement in the quality and quantity of opportunities for SBs and SDBs. These efforts will be centered around the implementation of Goal Setting, the establishment of a Veterans Business Enterprise (VBE) program and the revitalization of the Small Business Reserve (SBR) program.

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Resources for businesses affected by COVID-19

Click here for a listing of small business resources relevant to COVID-19.

Click here for information PA's COVID-19 suppliers, manufacturers, and contractors Portals.

Understanding Emergency Procurements

Announcing PRiSM

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of General Services is pleased to announce the release of our new Small Business (SB), Small Diverse Business (SDB), and Veteran Business Enterprise (VBE) management software, PRiSM.

PRiSM supports the mission of the Department’s Bureau of Diversity, Inclusion & Small Business Opportunities (BDISBO) to assist small, diverse, and veteran businesses in competing for Commonwealth contracting opportunities. Once It will allow:

  • Prime vendors to report payments to their SDB and VBE vendors
  • SDB and VBE vendors to acknowledge receipt of Prime payments
  • BDISBO to track payment compliance

Click here for instructions to self-certify as SB or verify as SDB or VBE through PRiSM. Current SBs, SDBs, and VBEs must register as PRiSM users to access their PRiSM accounts, view their certifications, and download their SB, SDB, and VBE certificates.

To search for SBs, SDBs, and VBEs, click on Small Business Self-Certification or Small Diverse Business Verification > Locate Small, Small Diverse & Veteran Businesses.

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Who We Are
​BDISBO is comprised of dedicated commonwealth professionals who believe the importance to our mission is creating a more fair and equitable landscape where both small and diverse businesses can compete for state contracting opportunities. Whether it involves the areas of compliance, certification/verification, policy, technical assistance, or outreach and education, the BDISBO team stands ready to make your experience with the commonwealth a positive and productive one. ​

Our Mission
​BDISBO seeks to educate and advocate for the small and small diverse businesses. As an advocate, we seek to influence policy, programs, and legislation to meet the needs of the small business community. Our primary mission is to actively, equitably and successfully engage small, disadvantage, and minority businesses in the commonwealth's public procurement process as one of the ways to fuel our economy. ​
Our Vision

​BDISBO facilitates an open, inclusive, and accessible business environment where small businesses can develop or expand their competency, capacity and footprint in the commonwealth marketplace. ​

What We Do
The Department of General Services' (DGS) BDISBO is responsible for assisting small and diverse businesses, including Minority Business Enterprises, Women Business Enterprises, LGBT Business Enterprises, Disability-Owned Business Enterprises, Service-Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises, and Veteran Business Enterprises, with competing for commonwealth contracting opportunities. BDISBO's duties and scope of services encompass the following areas of influence:
  • Policy – Developing more efficient protocols and re-examining existing policies to ensure that they are conducive to the advancement of our bureau's mission and vision.
  • Outreach – Proactively engaging both diverse communities and business owners to educate them about the contracting opportunities that presently exist and will be emerging with the commonwealth.
  • Technical Assistance – Providing direct guidance and employing a hands-on approach in the way that we assist our existing and prospective customers who are interested in doing business with the Commonwealth.
  • Agency Liaison Program – Establishing and broadening the lines of communication between BDISBO and the state agencies under the Governor's jurisdiction to ensure that there is greater utilization of small and small diverse businesses relative to available commonwealth contracting opportunities. 
  • Certification Verification – Ensuring that entities that wish to do business with the commonwealth are eligible to participate in DGS's Small Business Contracting Program or its Small Diverse Business or Veteran Business Enterprise programs. BDISBO facilitates the verification of certifications for participating businesses.
  • Goal Setting/Waivers – The commonwealth is in the pilot phase of implementing a new goal setting policy based on recommendations in the 2018 disparity study. Full implementation is planned for Spring of 2020. This new policy will replace the commonwealth’s scoring methodology, which allocated 20% of the total evaluation points for commitments to utilize Small and Small Diverse Businesses.       
  • Compliance – One of BDISBO's most important functions is to monitor the actions of program participants to ensure that they are honoring their contractual commitments. Therefore, it is not lost upon the Bureau that any aspirational goals advanced by the Bureau cannot be realized without some semblance of oversight and accountability. 
  • Stakeholder Engagement – Success of any kind cannot be achieved in a vacuum. It is for this reason that we actively solicit the ideas and input of individuals, business owners, policymakers, and other interested parties to ensure that the Bureau's efforts and internal policies are collaboratively forged.
  • Disparity Study – BDISBO is utilizing this tangible document as a touchstone for driving our programmatic and measuring the overall success of DGS's Small Business Contracting Program and Small Diverse Business and Veteran Business Enterprise programs. View DGS's 2018 Disparity Study here.
What We Value
Diversity and Inclusion – In light of the findings highlighted in our October 2018 Statewide Disparity Study, we recognize now more than ever that there needs to be greater parity in the way that the Commonwealth engages and awards opportunities to small and diverse businesses.  Although BDISBO has always placed a very high premium on the principles of diversity and inclusion, the findings of the statewide disparity study serve to undergird our efforts to expand access to Commonwealth contracting opportunities for duly certified small and small diverse businesses.

Customer Service – In an effort to dispel the notion that doing business with the Commonwealth is both daunting and complex, BDISBO professionals make themselves readily available to answer agency/bureau-related questions and assist our customers with navigating throughout the state procurement/contracting process. 

Innovation & Efficiency – In recognition of the fact that there is always room for improvement in every sphere of human endeavor, the BDISBO staff are constantly exploring ways to make your experience more meaningful and efficient. The Bureau also encourages and welcomes feedback from the public about ways that we can make your interaction and experience with the Commonwealth a favorable one.

Integrity – Given that BDISBO's mission is predicated on the principles of fairness and equal access to economic opportunities, the BDISBO staff take great pride in applying these very same principles in the way that we administer our Commonwealth-sanctioned duties. Therefore, our customers -- whether small, large, upstart or experienced -- can rest assured that they are receiving a standardized level of customer care and professional service.

Stakeholders – BDISBO values its stakeholders and recognizes their experience and influence are vital to BDISBO's mission and vision.  Towards this end, BDISBO takes an immense degree of pride in collaborating with its stakeholders in areas that include but are not limited to the development of public policy, the convening of business development forums, and community engagement.