OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – An Oklahoma Senate committee unanimously approved a measure that supporters claim will encourage more young businesses to move to the Sooner State.

Senate Bill 812, authored by Sen. Jo Anna Dossett, (D-Tulsa), was unanimously approved by the Senate General Government Committee on Thursday.

“Oklahoma has so much untapped potential and talent that we need to harness and support,” Dossett said. “One way we can do this is by ensuring state contracts are being awarded to our younger companies and businesses, not just the larger, more established ones. This bill will help with this effort by tracking how many state contracts are being awarded to those companies that have been in business for less than five years. Small businesses make up a majority of our state’s economy, so it’s important that we do all we can to support those newer enterprises and help them as they grow.”

Under the measure, the state purchasing director would track and report the number of state contracts awarded to young companies in operation for five years or less.

Organizers say they would be able to see how state contracts are distributed between newer, small businesses and larger, more established companies.

According to the U.S. Census and statistics from the Tax Foundation, there are nearly 351,000 active small businesses in Oklahoma.

SB 812 will now go before the full Senate for consideration.