Long Beach Port Again Exceeds Small Business Enterprise Goals

Efforts by the Port of Long Beach to include more small businesses among its contractors and vendors are raising awareness of opportunities in doing business with the Port.

Nearly half of Port funds spent on contracts applicable to the Port’s Small Business Enterprise Program goals in the most recent fiscal year went to buy services and materials from companies defined as “small business enterprises” and “very small business enterprises.”

The 48.9% participation by small and very small businesses in contracting for which small business enterprise participation is measured translates to $54.2 million in spending on construction projects, consulting services, event planning, and other supplies and services for the Port, which is the Harbor Department of the City of Long Beach. The Port’s goal for small business enterprise participation in applicable contracting is 27%.

The Port’s utilization of small businesses for which participation is measured has risen steadily in recent years. Fiscal year 2018 saw a 30.2% rate, 2019 was 33.2%, 2020 was 34.4%, and 2021 was 40.8%.

“We are demonstrating our commitment as a public agency to offer more opportunities to small businesses to provide the goods and services necessary to operate the Port,” said Bonnie Lowenthal, Vice President of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners. “This practice diversifies the contractor pool and increases competition for Port contracts, resulting in additional value to the public.”

“In the course of improving and operating the Port, we offer significant contracts every year. We need to ensure every qualified company, large or small, at least has the opportunity to participate and grow with us,” said Port of Long Beach CEO Mario Cordero.

The thresholds of annual receipts and number of employees for classification as a small business enterprise vary widely by industry, as determined by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Very small business enterprise eligibility is equivalent to the state of California’s microbusiness designation: businesses with $5 million or less in annual gross sales, averaged over the last three fiscal years, or manufacturers with 25 or fewer employees.

All aspiring contractors for the Port apply for posted contracts on the Port’s “Planet Bids” online system, where the businesses can pre-register and check back for posted bids.
Source: Port of Long Beach

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