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Expanding Opportunities for San Diego's Small Contractors

Yesterday morning, I was joined by Ruben Garcia, the district director for the U.S. Small Business Administration, to announce a partnership between our two agencies that will help San Diego’s small contractors participate in the national economic recovery by helping them bid successfully on projects funded by stimulus dollars.

The Small Business Administration has recently received additional funding to provide both technical and financial assistance to small business owners who have effectively been shut out of many government contracts -- particularly state and federal construction projects -- because of stringent bonding requirements.

The city’s partnership with the SBA represents a commitment to working together to help small businesses succeed. Under our agreement, the SBA has named a liaison to the city, which will ensure the small contractors we refer to the agency get the assistance they need. We’ll share information, link to one another’s Web sites, and send speakers to each other’s events – all with the goal of expanding opportunity and awareness of assistance to our small business community.

In addition to making San Diego’s small businesses more competitive for major state and federal projects, it will also mean that more are able to bid on city projects – whether or not they are funded with state or federal dollars.

This will help the city achieve our goal of more inclusive contracting on our projects, since many women- and minority-owned businesses are smaller and are prevented from bidding on city projects because of bonding requirements.

I can’t overstate the importance to our economy of fostering growth among San Diego’s small businesses, which are the driving force of San Diego's economy, accounting for more than 90 percent of all businesses in the City.

The federal stimulus package is meant to help the economy recover. This program will help ensure that ALL our businesses are able to participate in that recovery.