Small Business Owners Encouraged to Participate in Construction Bidding Process

SAN PEDRO, Calif. — March 16, 2007 — The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners has approved a revised Small Business Development Program (SBDP) for all Port of Los Angeles construction and personal services contracts.  The new SBDP will provide education, outreach, and resources to the small business community.

The Port revised its former small business program, Minority- and Women-Owned Business Program (MBE/WBE Program) to include other small business enterprises and to provide all businesses and individuals open access to business opportunities available at the Port in a manner that reflects the diversity of the City of Los Angeles. The board-approved program is in line with a directive by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to create small business programs that provide an equal chance to successfully participate in the construction, personal services and procurement projects at the Port. 

“This comprehensive program will go a long way toward ensuring that small business owners have the best possible access to contracting opportunities at the Port of Los Angeles,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. Our door is wide open to small businesses, minority businesses, and women- and veteran-owned businesses.  We must have the most inclusive process possible.”

 “We are committed to working with small business owners throughout the City of Los Angeles and particularly within the Harbor area,” said Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D., executive director of the Port of Los Angeles.  “The mission of the program is to promote increased access to the Port’s procurement opportunities that will, in turn, nurture entrepreneurial opportunities and open doors for small business owners.” 

A renewed emphasis will be placed on educating small businesses on the City selection process and identifying resources to enhance the success and development of small business owners.  Efforts to reach out to small businesses to participate in the bidding processes for Port-related contracts will be consistent with U.S. Small Business Administration standards. 


The SBDP will be led by Margaret Hernandez, director of contracts and purchasing for the Port of Los Angeles.  Hernandez will oversee the program at the Port and will act as the Small Business Development Program Administrator.  Additionally, an advisory committee consisting of 10 to 15 members will be created to review the activities of the program, as well as provide feedback from their constituents on the success of the program and its outreach efforts.  Committee members may include members of local chambers of commerce, small business development centers, City officials, and small business owners.


Outreach activities to make it possible for small business owners to meet key contracting experts and be counseled on the procurement process will include:

  • Procurement networking sessions
  • Roundtables
  • A Web-based  contractor registration program called DiversityXchange
  • Educational workshops


For more information about the SBDP, please visit the Port’s Web site, www.portoflosangeles.org, or call the Port’s contracting and purchasing division at (310)732-3890.

Celebrating its Centennial in 2007, the Port of Los Angeles is America's premier port. As the leading seaport in the nation in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port generates 259,000 regional jobs and $8.4 billion in annual wages and tax revenues. A proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles, the Port is self-supporting and does not receive taxpayer dollars. At the Port of Los Angeles, high priority is placed on responsible and sustainable growth initiatives, combined with high security, environmental stewardship and community outreach. For its industry leading environmental initiatives, the Port received two Environmental Protection Agency awards in 2006. The Port of Los Angeles – A Cleaner Port. A Brighter Future.