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The Long Beach City Council unanimously passed a small business recruitment pilot program introduced by Mayor Bob Foster during last night’s City Council meeting. 

"During difficult economic times, small businesses are the engine of job growth,” said Mayor Foster.  “This pilot program will assist small businesses by giving them the tools to work on more City of Long Beach contracts.”

The program will be tested in three city departments: Department of Public Works; Department of Gas and Oil; and Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine.  These departments will have an overall 20% goal of their contracts to include Small Business Enterprise (SBE) participation.  Specifically, the departments will set certain goals for each contract to direct the prime contractors to hire SBEs as sub-contractors, vendors and for related services.  Of the 20% goal – a 10% goal is for general SBEs, 5% goal for Long Beach SBEs, and 5% goal for Very Small Businesses. 

Part of the pilot program also will identify SBEs within the City’s vendor database, as well as conducting an outreach program to add more SBEs.  This database will be made available to prime contractors to help fulfill the SBE participation goal in their contract. 

The one-year pilot program will be administered by existing City staff.  The program will be evaluated at the end of the test period.  If the program is considered to be successful, it could be expanded into a citywide program.  The City’s program is based off of the Port of Long Beach’s successful SBE recruitment model.

Mayor Foster, the City of Long Beach and the Port of Long Beach will host a free seminar to give small business owners more information on the SBE pilot program and how to register with the City’s SBE vendor database.  The seminar will take place on Thurs., May 7, 2009 at the Long Beach Main Library, 101 Pacific Ave.   Registration begins at 3:00 p.m. and the program begins at 4:00 p.m.  There is limited seating and you must RSVP to reserve your spot.   To sign up for the free seminar, please call Taylor Honrath at (562) 570-5377 or

The SBE recruitment program will be brought back to City Council on April 7 for a second reading, and will take effect 31 days after the Mayor signs the ordinance. 

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