Chapter 9 of the General Laws hereby amended by adding the following section:–
Section 32. (a) There is hereby established a one-stop small business online portal for small businesses in the commonwealth. The state secretary, the executive offices of administration and finance, education, energy and environmental affairs, health and human services, housing and economic development, labor and workforce development, public safety and security, technology services and security, transportation and public works and the department of revenue shall jointly establish a one-stop small business online portal that shall serve as a single, unified entry point for small business owners to access and complete initial and ongoing state services and requirements in relation to the creation or ongoing operation of a small business located in the commonwealth. The agencies identified in this subsection shall coordinate, manage and implement the portal based on the results of an assessment conducted by the one-stop small business online portal advisory committee under this section. For the purposes of this section the term small business shall mean a business entity or agriculture operation, including its affiliates, that: (i) is independently owned and operated; (ii) has a principal place of business in the commonwealth; and (iii) would be defined as a “small business” under applicable federal law, as established in the United States Code and promulgated from time to time by the United States Small Business Administration.
(b) The one-stop small business online portal advisory committee is hereby established to provide guidance in the creation and implementation of the one-stop small business online portal. The committee shall consist of the state secretary, the secretaries of administration and finance, education, energy and environmental affairs, health and human services, housing and economic development, labor and workforce development, public safety and security, technology services and security, transportation and public works and the commissioner of the department of revenue. The governor shall have the discretion to appoint other members to the committee. The committee shall be co-chaired by the state secretary and the secretary of administration and finance.
(c) The one-stop small business online portal advisory committee shall prepare an assessment detailing recommendations for the creation, ongoing operation and management of the one-stop small business online portal, to be presented to the governor, the state secretary and the general court by December 31, 2019. This assessment shall include the following:
(i) An estimate of the costs for full implementation of the portal, including those associated with technology, maintenance, sharing agency data, information security and other start-up costs;
(ii) An estimate of the costs of establishing and maintaining a call center staffed with persons trained to answer questions and help businesses obtain information and services, along with a recommendation as to where the call center should be located and the number of staff necessary to operate it;
(iii) Recommendations on the location, design and functionality of the portal;
(iv) Recommendations as to the roles of the state agencies identified in subsection (a) regarding the day-to-day operational management of the portal;
(v) Recommendations on the time line for developing and testing the portal;
(vi) Identification of any statutory or regulatory changes that need to be made to existing law to effectuate the portal's functionality;
(vii) Identification of other state agencies that possess small business-related functions and content so that those functions can be added to the portal;
(viii) Identification of any impediments posed by federal law and recommended ways to address the impediment;
(ix) A comprehensive analysis of the processes of all state agencies, with a view toward streamlining and reducing the paperwork necessary for small businesses to interact with each agency; and
(x) Recommendations on the scope of services to be provided by the portal. At a minimum, services shall include:
(1) Application and renewal of small business-related licenses and fees incident to the start-up and operation of a small business;
(2) Online payment of taxes and related costs imposed by state law incident to the operation of a small business;
(3) Filing of documents and papers imposed by state law associated with the operation of a small business;
(4) Creation of individual online accounts for each small business, which allows the small business to monitor its filings, payments, deadlines and other business-compliance activities;
(5) Providing information regarding compliance with local requirements; and
(6) Notification of public contracting opportunities and resources for technical assistance for small businesses.
(d) The one-stop small business online portal advisory committee shall:
(i) Ensure that the portal has a web site and the ability to process new business registrations as handled by the state secretary’s office, and will be in a testing phase for the department of revenue's tax registration application by December 31, 2020; and
(ii) Ensure that subsequent and additional online small business applications maintained by the commonwealth shall be evaluated and prioritized.
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