Port of Long Beach exceeds small business enterprise objective

Port of Long Beach exceeds small business enterprise objective

The Port of Long Beach’s efforts to incorporate more small companies among its contractors and vendors are expanding awareness of the port’s prospects.

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 per cent participation rate of small and very small businesses in contracting, as measured by small business enterprise participation, 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 target for small business firm involvement in relevant contracting is 27 per cent. The port’s use of small firms, for which participation is recorded, has gradually increased in recent years.

READ: Port of Long Beach introduces newest green vessel

In fiscal year 2018, the rate was 30.2 per cent, 33.2 per cent in 2019, 34.4 per cent in 2020, and 40.8 per cent in 2021.

Bonnie Lowenthal, Vice President of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, said: “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.

“This practice diversifies the contractor pool and increases competition for port contracts, resulting in additional value to the public.”

Port of Long Beach CEO, Mario Cordero, stated: “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.”

This month, the US Department of Homeland Security granted $2.72 million to the Port of Long Beach to improve security and ensure the safe and efficient transportation of goods during emergency situations.

Additionally, Port of Long Beach reported that its trade fell in July 2023 as a result of new trade routes, full warehouses, and a change in consumer spending towards vacation, entertainment, and other activities.

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