As National Small Business Month comes to a close, Los Angeles remains committed to the specific needs of the more than 300,000 small businesses that employ nearly 2 million Angelenos. Los Angeles has long been the destination for entrepreneurs from around the globe to build their dreams from the ground up. However, we cannot rely on the City's trademark entrepreneurial spirit alone to preserve LA as the place where the world creates and innovates.
That is why my office created the City's first-ever small business team to fight for the interests of entrepreneurs and small firms throughout Los Angeles. For the first time, my office required City Departments to meet specific contract goals for local small businesses as well as women-, minority- and veteran-owned businesses. To foster transparency and accountability for this new system, General Managers are required to post contracting results, the first of which are currently available online. This isn't just the right thing to do -- this is the smart, business-savvy thing to do. A larger pool of qualified bidders will generate healthy competition and savings for the City while empowering our local small business community.
If you are a small business owner, I encourage you to go visit Los Angeles Works to find out more about these initiatives and other City resources that are at your disposal to help your company grow and thrive. After all, customer service is the core responsibility of our small business team, and you are our most important customer.
Below are the recent initiatives and first-time milestones achieved by the Mayor's Office and aimed at serving the specific needs of small businesses:
- Signed a Strategic Alliance Memorandum with the Small Business Administration (SBA) to strengthen and expand small business development in the local area.
- Partnered with the University of Southern California (USC) to create the MBDA Business Center (MBC), which was awarded $1.8M from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) to boost job creation and foster economic growth.
- Hosted the State's largest Small Business Advocate's Advisory Group meeting, enabling more than 100 small business leaders to discuss programs, policies and capital projects impacting small business.
- Posted the first reports on the City's procurement efforts. These reports track the number and amount of contracts awarded by department and the participation by minority- and women-owned companies.
Click here for a fact sheet with more information on the resources available to the small business community.
Follow Antonio Villaraigosa on Twitter: www.twitter.com/LAMayorsOffice