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Bringing opportunity to more small businesses

Last week, Councilmember Tony Young joined me to announce a new campaign to engage more small contractors in doing business with the city of San Diego.

Small businesses form the backbone of San Diego’s economy, and we’d like to make it easier for small contractors to take advantage of opportunities on city public works projects.

San Diego has plenty of work for small contractors – plumbers, electricians, landscapers, concrete contractors, environmental monitoring firms and other construction trades.

Over the next several months, a public service announcement will run on City TV channel 24 alerting contractors to more than $18 million worth of small contracts that will go out to bid between now and this spring.

We’ve just launched a website that’s specifically aimed at reaching San Diego contractors for jobs under $1 million.

The new website provides a comprehensive list of bids on smaller public-works projects, offers a preview of upcoming bids and allows bidders to check on results. Contractors can also learn how to become a registered vendor with the city and pre-qualify for contract bids.

Just as importantly, the site offers assistance for small contractors in navigating the government contracting terrain so they can bid successfully.

Among the new resources the city offers, is a direct line to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s financial and technical assistance on bonding and other requirements that sometimes discourage small contractors from pursuing government contracts.

The City of San Diego is committed to inclusion and contractor diversity, so we’re making every effort to break down the barriers that prevent small contractors from bidding on city projects. Engaging more small contractors also will help the city achieve our goal of more inclusive contracting and help our economy recover.