In 2003, the SCSBCC learned that roughly 42 percent of our state’s procurement dollars were going to out-of-state contractors. It was clear to us that keeping more of this approximately 1.3 billion in taxpayer dollars (at that time) in South Carolina would greatly help our small businesses and economy.
The SCSBCC immediately began working to find a way to address this problem. Keeping more of our procurement dollars in state without any mandates posed a serious problem. However, with the help of the S.C. Budget and Control Board staff, an acceptable method of encouraging out-of-state contractors to subcontract 20 to 40 percent of their procurement contracts with South Carolina small businesses for goods and services was developed.
The legislation was introduced in 2008 with Senate and House Republican leadership as co-sponsors. The General Assembly recognized the economic development potential of the bill and passed it that year.
Unfortunately, Governor Mark Sanford vetoed the bill with his standard libertarian explanation of letting the free market reign. The Senate overrode the veto but the House failed to do the same by a slim three votes.
In 2009 the same bill was reintroduced, passed and again vetoed. This time the Senate and the House voted to override the veto.
Today we have that law on the books and it is giving our small businesses a greater chance to benefit from our state procurement system.