HD7 - Impact of eVA on Small Virginia Businesses

Executive Summary:
HJR 119 (2008) directed JLARC to study the impact of the State’s electronic procurement system (eVA) on small Virginia businesses. eVA was implemented in 2001 to make State procurement more efficient, transparent, and competitive, and its use is required for most State purchases.

JLARC staff found that about 99 percent of Virginia businesses meet the State’s small business definition. Overall, small businesses have had success in obtaining business using eVA, which helps provide increased access to State procurement opportunities. In addition, purchases from certified women- and minority-owned businesses have substantially increased. However, the small business definition appears to be overly broad.

Small business respondents to a JLARC staff survey about eVA indicate that increased outreach and training efforts could improve their access to procurement opportunities. Also, it appears that registration and transaction fees are discouraging some small businesses from registering with eVA. Finally, eVA revenues are exceeding total operating expenses and there is currently a cash balance of almost $18 million. Options could be considered to better balance eVA revenues and expenses.