LOS ANGELES, CA:- The Board of Public Works, Bureau of Contract Administration, in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of Budget and Innovation today launched the Accessing L.A. Webinar Series to provide small and diverse business owners and entrepreneurs across all industries with timely information and resources on doing business and contracting with the City of Los Angeles. The first-ever Accessing L.A. Webinar Series is intended to take the place of the in-person TeamWith event that is part of the Accessing L.A. Expo – the City’s premier flagship networking program – and was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Accessing L.A. Webinar Series is made possible in partnership with the Bureau of Engineering, the Economic and Workforce Development Department, and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP).
“Through a collaborative effort, we quickly pivoted to find a new way forward for our Accessing L.A. program to assure small businesses that there are still contracting opportunities available and that the City of Los Angeles is here for them during times of uncertainty,” said Board of Public Works Commissioner Jessica Caloza. “As we navigate the road to recovery, it’s more important than ever that we do everything possible to provide our community with the most up-to-date information, resources, and tools to come out on the other side of this better than before.”
More than 1,000 people registered for today’s first webinar that featured the City’s Chief Procurement Officer Shannon Hoppes providing virtual attendees with an update on the current status of contracting with the City of Los Angeles amid the COVID-19 pandemic and a look at the months ahead. Hoppes also discussed the different types of contracts for new businesses that are interested in working with the City for the first time. LADWP joined this webinar to give a broad overview of the procurement process and a definition of key terms businesses should know. Additionally, the Bureau of Engineering presented its upcoming bid opportunities and shared how the public can access this information.
“For years, Accessing L.A. has been bringing businesses together to network and gain valuable information on contracting opportunities. We will continue with that tradition while adhering to physical distancing guidelines through virtual events,” said John L. Reamer, Jr., Inspector of Public Works and Director of the Bureau of Contract Administration. “Our priority will always be to get timely instruction and resources to our local business community especially during these difficult times.”
“With an average of $1 billion in contracts awarded annually to meet operational needs and undertake major construction projects, LADWP believes in a level playing field in procurement and contracting,” said LADWP Director of Supply Chain Services, Erin Henning. “Providing information, resources, and access to our diverse business community greatly benefits our city’s economy as we move towards recovery during difficult times.”
The Accessing L.A. Webinar Series includes two more sessions on June 25th and July 9th. Each session was created considering the needs of different audiences from start-up businesses who are beginning to explore the public procurement process to businesses who have worked with the City before.
Upcoming webinars will include presentations from subject matter experts on access to financial assistance, information about loan and grant programs, services provided by BusinessSource Centers, certification guidance, and an in-depth tutorial on navigating the Los Angeles Business Assistance Virtual Network (LABAVN). Trisha Murakawa, a Small Business Academy graduate, will also share her experience using LABAVN and eventually becoming a subcontractor and prime contractor with the City of Los Angeles and other public agencies.
The successful and growing Accessing L.A. program was designed to promote the City’s vision of fostering the inclusion and economic development of all Los Angeles residents and businesses. In compliance with Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “Safer at Home” emergency order and physical distancing guidelines, the Accessing L.A. Webinar Series was developed to take the place of the 2020 TeamWith event in honor of National Public Works Week, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and Small Business Month.
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