The Ontario government has eliminated the fees that businesses previously had to pay to access government procurement contracts.

Jeff Leal, Minister Responsible for Small Business, made the announcement at the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council’s Diversity Procurement Fair in Toronto this week.

Businesses can now submit bids for free on the Ontario Tenders Portal, waiving the previous requirement of a $300 submission fee per bid or $750 annual fee for an unlimited bid for procurement opportunities with the government. Businesses will now also have free access to the Registration, Appraisal and Qualification System used by the Ministry of Transportation for road maintenance procurements, which previously required businesses to pay a $525 annual fee to access that system.

The elimination of these fees is part of Ontario’s plan to make it easier for businesses to submit bids for government contracts, which also includes the designation of 33 per cent of its procurement spending to small and medium-sized businesses by 2020.

Annually, Ontario government ministries procure approximately $6 billion worth of goods, services, and construction.On average, the government does business with 52,000 vendors annually.

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