Regarding Streamlining Procurement Procedures for the Business Enterprise Program in Colorado

WHEREAS, operating under the aegis of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, the Colorado Business Enterprise Program (BEP) has been an extremely successful agency expanding entrepreneurial opportunities for Colorado citizens who are legally blind; and

WHEREAS, BEP is governed by both state and federal legal mandates which allow for a successful blend of free enterprise and government--often regarded as a model to promote self-employment; and

WHEREAS, in recent years, frontline Business Enterprise Program staff and blind entrepreneurs trained and licensed to operate a variety of concessions and other contracts on state, federal, and private sector property have been unduly burdened by an ever-expanding set of purchasing rules along with additional layers of administrative approvals necessary for the program to enter into contracts for the operation of business locations as well as purchasing equipment necessary to profitably manage these businesses; and

WHEREAS, in the name of accountability, Colorado’s Business Enterprise Program is being strangled and unable to compete with similarly situated private sector businesses; and

WHEREAS, rather than improve accountability, these unnecessary and draconian practices only serve to perpetuate an ever-expanding bureaucracy while limiting the quality and profitability of the businesses licensed to operate under the Business Enterprise Program: Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado in convention assembled this 29th day of October, 2023, in the City of Lone Tree, Colorado, that this organization call upon officials in the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment and other state officials to work immediately with the elected committee of blind operators and frontline Business Enterprise Program staff to take steps that will significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to approve contracts with host properties and the procurement of urgently needed equipment.

Resolution unanimously adopted.