Public procurement system stacked against NL small businesses

Provincial government lacks interest in real change

St. John’s, September 21, 2020 – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is concerned the public procurement system in Newfoundland and Labrador is broken and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is unwilling to make real changes. Rather, the provincial government does everything in its power to justify the current system, which has shown to be very harmful to small businesses.

“In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the provincial government introduced a 10 per cent local preference provision and increased the thresholds for open bids, which were supposed to help small businesses,” said Vaughn Hammond, director of provincial affairs for CFIB in Newfoundland and Labrador. “Yet, those changes have not had the desired effect as small businesses continue to get shut out.”

Currently, there is an open bid for parking and security at health care facilities throughout the province. Qualified Newfoundland and Labrador candidates are being disqualified from the process based on provisions contained in the request for proposals (RFP). CFIB raised concerns about the RFP with the provincial government, but no changes are forthcoming to ensure NL-based businesses can qualify. As a result, the healthcare parking and security service will likely be provided by national or multi-national companies. The public procurement system is stacked against NL companies, especially small business.

“During the COVID-19 crisis, many small businesses in the province have been negatively affected and there is a growing awareness amongst the public of the need to support local, independent businesses,” added Hammond. “Unfortunately, it appears the provincial government, through its tendering process, does not share this view.”

Upon request, CFIB can provide contact information to business owners who have been harmed by the public procurement process.

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Vaughn Hammond, Director of Provincial Affairs, CFIB

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at

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