Small Business Requirements

University buyers are responsible for procuring goods and services for their respective departments in accordance with all mandatory State (Governor’s Executive Order) and University procedures. These include the selection of appropriate vendors for all small purchases either through the use of existing contracts or by obtaining a quote or purchasing from a certified small business.


A number of commonly used items are available through State and University term contracts or through the Central Storeroom and Surplus.

Contracts for other goods and services may be found by conducting a State Contract Search in eVA. eVA allows you to search by a description of the goods, the contract number, the Buyer agency name or the NIGP or Commodity code. You can search for NIGP Commodity codes in eVA or you can download the entire NIGP code book.

Some contracts are written for sole use by the University for specific goods and services. To see if a contract is available for your needs, please check the list of Awarded Contracts or contact Procurement Services for assistance.

Small Business Vendors

If no contract exists that meets your needs, you must obtain one quote from a small business prior to making a purchase. A vendor must have been certified by the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD) to qualify as a small business. You must document (written statement within the procurement file) your effort to obtain a quote from a small business by noting the date and time of the call or fax, the name of the small business you contacted and the specific employee you spoke with, and the quote provided by that vendor. This should be documented in the comments section of your eVA order form or referenced by stating ‘small business quote on file’, but not included on your printed purchase order. Suggested methods for finding a small business include, but are not limited to:

  • Asking other University employees
  • Reference the eMall Workbook, Section 1 for best practices and instructions
  • Using the SWaM Vendor Search on the SBSD website
  • Looking on the Internet or in the phone book
  • Checking supplier catalogs
  • Contacting other state agencies

If you find a vendor you are interested in using through one of these methods, you should find out if the vendor is registered in eVA by conducting a Vendor Look-Up.