Small Businesses Get a Boost

The Board of Supervisors with recipients of the inaugural Los Angeles County Department Recognition Awards, celebrating leadership in contracting excellence. Photo by Martin Zamora/ Board of Supervisors.

Los Angeles County hit a milestone in its efforts to bolster the small business community, awarding them $100 million in additional procurement contracts over the past fiscal year.

The ultimate goal is to have small businesses and social enterprises account for 25 percent of the County’s contracts for goods and services by the year 2020. For businesses owned by disabled veterans, the target is 3 percent.

When those goals are achieved, small businesses, social enterprises and disabled veteran-owned businesses could have more than $1 billion worth contracts from Los Angeles County. Currently, the small business community accounts for about half of the County’s 3.5 million private sector jobs.

County Department of Public Works executive director Mark Pestrella accepts the scroll.

“We established these targets because it is smart economic development policy for our region to invest in its small business community,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “Small businesses provide half of all jobs in the region and are more likely to employ youth and the underprivileged, and to hire locally.”

The Supervisor recently handed out awards to recognize County departments, community partners and advocates who worked hard to ensure that small businesses are given more contracting opportunities and equipped with the resources they need to succeed.

County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs director Brian Stiger hosted the ceremony. “We are proud to work with so many departments doing commendable work towards helping the County achieve the small business utilization goal,” he said. “I hope the awards ceremony encourages all departments to recognize the power they have to make a positive impact on the local economy.”

The awardees were: Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services assistant director Paul Goldman for Advocate of the Year; Department of Public Works executive director Mark Pestrella for notable achievement in LSBE Utilization; and City of LA Department of Public Works Bureau of Contract Administration director John L. Reamer, Jr. for Excellence in Collaboration.

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and DCBA Director Brian Stiger with City of LA Department of Public Works Bureau of Contract Administration director John Reamer, Jr., who received the award for Excellence in Collaboration. Photo by Diandra Jay/Board of Supervisors