RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Governor Northam announced this week an app to increase accessibility for certain small businesses in the state.

The app, called “Start Small,” connects users with more than 100,000 nearby vendors. Users can then refine their search to only include small businesses owned by women, minorities, and service-disabled veterans certified through the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity.

“Virginia is stronger because of our small businesses,” said Governor Northam. “This app makes it easier than ever to support our local, women-owned, and minority-owned businesses. I encourage all Virginians to take advantage of Start Small to find vendors that fit their needs.”

In 2019, Northam issued Executive Order 35 which directed executive branch agencies and institutions to allocate more than 42% of their spending to certified small businesses.

In fiscal year 2020, more than $945 million was spent in this sector.

Joe Damico with the Department of General Services said this app makes that process easier for state employees.

“We understand that when employees are in the field and they need immediate supplies, they just need to get the job done. Bringing this information to their fingertips helps ensure those taxpayer dollars are spent with Virginia’s small businesses to the greatest extent possible,” said Damico.

Right now, there are 13,000 small, women, and minority-owned businesses in the state. It’s free to register, and can be done here.