Friday, November 1, 2013

Port of LA Small Business Program Reports Strong Participation

The Port of Los Angeles Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Program awarded $97.6 million in contracts to small businesses during the 2012/2013 fiscal year, according to newly released data.

Of the $97.6 million awarded in FY 2012/13, $30.8 million went to minority-owned small businesses and $21.6 million to those owned by women, according to port figures.

The port’s SBE Program was created in 2007 to provide additional opportunities for small businesses to participate in professional service and construction contracts. Of the $1.3 billion in total contracts awarded by the Port of LA over the last six fiscal years, $431.5 million, or 32 percent, has gone to small business enterprises.

While other Los Angeles City departments mandate that a contract awardee show a “good faith effort” to include small, minority or women-owned businesses, the port makes it a requirement that contract awardees include SBE participation.

Annually, the port sets an overall goal of 25 percent SBE participation, of which five percent is designated for Very Small Business Enterprises (VSBEs), a stipulation added in 2010. VSBEs are firms with three-year average gross revenues of less than $3.5 million. The port establishes SBE/VSBE requirements for each contract that it awards, except in the case of some federally funded contracts that do not allow mandatory SBE requirements.

In 2011, the port further expanded its SBE program to accept Disabled-Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) certifications, awarding two contracts to DVBEs that year totaling $154,000. In FY 2012/13, the port awarded five contracts for a total of $7.7 million to DVBEs.