March 15, 2002

Governor Davis Pledges to Continue Partnerships With Small Businesses

Los Angeles — Speaking to leading California small businesses owners, Governor Gray Davis announced that Cali-fornia's economy is strong thanks to partnerships between the State and small businesses.

"California has always been the land of opportunity for business entrepreneurs," Governor Davis said. "When I took office, I pledged not only to maintain our commitment to business, but to expand on it. And that's exactly what I've done."

Governor Davis made the announcement at a luncheon for more than 1,000 business owners attending the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) conference.

With more than one million California businesses owned by women, California leads the nation in women-owned businesses by a wide margin. Governor Davis has worked to build a better economic environment in the State for all businesses - an effort that is paying dividends. The California Employment Development Department indicates that new business incorporations increased steadily in 2001, throughout the height of California's energy crisis. And a new report on small businesses released by the Department of General Services shows that California increased small business participation by 33 percent in the last year alone.

"We kept the power flowing and the economy growing. And business investment keeps coming to California," the Governor said.

The Davis Administration has a record of building partnerships between State government and business owners, including:

Reinvigorating the Small Business Council which provides a forum for small business owners and advocates to advise government on contracting and procurement practices;

Working with the Small Business Council to streamline the State certification process and eliminate a huge backlog of applications;

Issuing an Executive Order setting a 25 percent small business participation goal for State contracts;

Working with local governments on reciprocity agreements which would enable State-certified small businesses to be given the same preferences by cities and counties; and

Opening the Venture Point Tech Coast Small Business Development Center — the nation's only high-tech, high-growth Small Business Development Center.

"Rest assured, we will continue to expand opportunity for California Businesses. And we will cut red tape and reduce the time and cost it takes to do business with the State," Governor Davis continued.

Governor Davis also announced that he has appointed Sonya Blake, NAWBO Executive Director, as the first ever Small Business Advocate in the Governor's Office.

"I established this position because I want to ensure that we are creating the best possible environment for small businesses," Governor Davis said.

The Department of General Services' Small Business Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2000-2001 will be available at the Department of General Service Web site: www.dgs.ca.gov, then click on the Small Business button.

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