The Ontario government says it is making it easier and less expensive for companies to do business with the government by eliminating the fees that businesses have to pay to access procurement contracts.

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

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 government says elimination of these fees is part of a plan to make it easier for businesses to submit bids for government contracts, which also includes the designation of 33% of procurement spending to small and medium-sized businesses by 2020.