Government Issues

L.A. Metro seeks bill to help mid-size businesses compete

Posted on May 24, 2016

L.A. Metro's Expo Line VIP train to Santa Monica station on May 9, 2016.
L.A. Metro's Expo Line VIP train to Santa Monica station on May 9, 2016.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is seeking legislative approval to establish a new category of preferences to help medium-sized businesses better compete for government transportation contracts.

The Medium-Size Business Program has a separate category for companies with 25 or more employees and $25 million to $250 million in annual revenue.

“Medium-sized firms have been at a disadvantage because they were too small to compete against the huge national companies for large transportation projects and they were too big to compete in the small business category,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. “A special preference for mid-sized companies allows them to compete fairly against similarly sized businesses. Taxpayers win because mid-sized companies bring efficiencies that are inherent to economies of scale.”

Metro is working with Assembly Member Sebastian Ridley-Thomas to finalize the language of Assembly Bill 2690 to ensure that it allows Metro to provide preferences for all small and medium-sized business that could benefit from the program.

Traditionally, large companies bid/propose on the largest contracts and state and federal rules provide some set-asides for small businesses to compete for smaller government contracts. But medium-sized businesses have no preferences and they are often too large or too small to compete.

Metro has done well over time supporting large and small companies, but there is a gap in programs to assist in awarding contracts to medium-sized firms.

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