LA County Creates Opportunities for Small Business

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas stands with small business owners and advocates who testified before the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in support of his motion.

Los Angeles County is looking to award more contracts to small businesses, as well as businesses owned by disabled veterans, under a motion approved by the Board of Supervisors.

“Supporting small business is good business for the County as they provide half of all jobs in the region,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, lead author of the motion. “This would bring a triple-bottom line benefit: meaningful employment for the disadvantaged, reducing the demand on County services, and increasing the tax base.”

The motion noted the County is in a unique position to strengthen the local economy because of its immense purchasing and contracting spending power.

“Small businesses help our regional economy in big and small ways by meeting consumer needs and by providing local jobs,” said Board Chair Hilda Solis, who co-authored the motion. “The County needs to advocate on behalf of these entrepreneurs and this motion does exactly that.”

The motion, as amended by Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Don Knabe, directs the County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA) to develop an action plan to have small businesses account for 25 percent, and for businesses owned by disabled veterans to account for 3 percent, of the County’s procurement by 2020.

DCBA said awarding contracts to small businesses and business owned by disadvantaged community members not only results in the delivery of goods and services, but a “measurable social impact.” The federal government, as well as several state and local governments, have similar policies.

Bill Allen, president and CEO of the LA Economic Development Corporation, expressed support for the motion, calling it “another encouraging step in a series of enlightened motions from this Board, evidencing a clear commitment to increasing economic prosperity and opportunity, to reducing income inequality, and to raising standards of living for all County residents.”