10-year-old program offers opportunity, increases competition

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners—seeking to expand opportunities for a wider range of vendors, contractors and consultants—has set a higher goal for the Port of Long Beach to buy goods and services from small and very small businesses.

Historically, the Port has succeeded in meeting a 25 percent small business participation goal, which led to the recent Harbor Commission approval of a goal increase to 27 percent for the upcoming fiscal year, beginning October 1. “The Port’s efforts to do business with small and very small businesses are beneficial for the local economy,” said Harbor Commission Vice President Rich Dines. “These smaller companies can increase competition for Port contracts and also offer opportunities to nurture a more diverse business community in Long Beach and the Southern California region.”

Harbor Commissioner Lou Ann Bynum, a longtime supporter of small business programs, added, “The Port is working hard to improve the local economy, create jobs, and provide resources to our local small business owners.”

The increased goal demonstrates the Port’s continuing commitment to the small business community. Since the Small Business Enterprise Program was launched in 2004, the Port has frequently exceeded its participation goals. In the past decade, approximately 30 percent of the Port’s eligible contracting dollars has been awarded to small and very small businesses, representing almost $300 million in spending.