• November 7, 2018

L.A. County Celebrates National Veterans Small Business Week

L.A. County Celebrates National Veterans Small Business Week

L.A. County Celebrates National Veterans Small Business Week 1024 1024 Consumer & Business

Veterans are an integral part of the fabric of the County of Los Angeles. As business owners, veterans have unparalleled talent, perspective and tenacity. The Board of Supervisors strives to help veterans start and grow their business and strongly encourages them to take advantage of contracting opportunities with the County.

The County buys nearly everything from office supplies and clothing, to event planning services and consulting services for various County initiatives like improving mental health services and fighting homelessness. We regularly highlight interesting bids (solicitations) on our Twitter account.

Curious about doing business with the County? Check out what some of our certified Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises (DVBEs) have to say:

Rebecca Robison-Cudworth, President/CEO She Marine Construction Supply

U.S. Marine Corps veteran, 22 years

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She Marine Construction Supply has been in business for just over two years and provides construction materials, particularly pipes, valves, fittings, rebar, and limited electrical. Robison-Cudworth decided to explore doing business with the County after attending an event focused on veteran owned businesses. She Marine Construction Supply has conducted approximately $20k in business by providing valves and fittings to the County.

Q: How has your experience in the military helped you in business?

A: “My military experience has helped me run my business by transferring the leadership, planning, and contingency planning skills I learned as a warfighter.  Everything is supported by logistics and professional warfighters speak in terms of logistics.”

Q: Why do you think small businesses should register and certify with the County?

A: “I think it’s worth it to register because it increases your company’s value added. Bid and win on your competitive advantages. Bring value by having certifications that support your client’s participation goals.”

Q: What advice would you give to veteran business owners who have never bid for County contracts before?

A: “All set aside business is difficult to win. Understanding your company and the processes related to the certification will increase your chances of winning work.”

Nathan Cleaver, Owner, DVBE Suppliers

U.S. Navy veteran, 4 years; U.S. Army National Guard veteran, 2 years

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DVBE Suppliers has been in business for five years and supplies a variety of materials and equipment like construction supplies, medical and dental supplies, safety equipment, automobiles, heavy equipment, plumbing and chemicals to various agencies at the City, County, and State level. They also provide services to Prime contractors who need small business and disabled veteran participation on their projects. Cleaver initially worked with the City of Los Angeles and then researched working with the County where he has won multiple contracts with different departments and enjoys his fast-paced workload.
Q: Why do you think small businesses should register and certify with the County?

A: “It is important to get certified with as many cities and counties as possible so that you can receive notifications and also you are ready to strike when a bid comes across that is in your wheelhouse.”

Q: What advice would you give to veteran business owners who have never bid for County contracts before?

A: “Learn the system and make sure you complete each bid package properly, also be prepared to compete against the general public and the manufacturers. If you don’t have a discount or relationship with a manufacturer it could be hard to compete.”

Q: How has your experience in the military helped you in business?

A: “It helped me to be on time, responsible for my actions and to plan ahead.”

James A. Timbrello President and CEO, Trims, Inc.

U.S. Army veteran (1/1 CAV), 2 years, recalled for Desert Storm

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Trims, Inc. has been in business for over 3 years and  Timbrello has been in the automotive collision repair business since 1991. Trims, Inc., provides body and frame repair, refinishing, and mechanical repairs. Timbrello loves helping people and working on vehicles. So far he’s worked on one County vehicle that needed repairs.

Q: What do you like most about your work?

A: “Getting a vehicle back to its pre-accident condition and the smiles we get from our customers when they see their vehicle completed is what it’s all about for me.”

Q: What advice would you give to veteran business owners who have never bid for County contracts before?

A: “Be willing to do a lot of research and give it as much time as possible.”

Q: How has your experience in the military helped you in business?

A: “A sense of purpose, perfection (no one is perfect but we strive for perfection everyday) and completing the task at hand.”

In the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2018-19, over $227 million was awarded to certified Local Small Business Enterprises (LSBEs), Disabled Veteran-Business Enterprises (DVBEs) and Social Enterprises (SEs) – a 45% increase from the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2017-18. The County is working to increase these contracting figures for certified vendors.

Get certified! Certified DVBEs are eligible for a 15% bid price reduction when bidding on contracting opportunities for certain goods and services with the County. This preference was created to help DVBEs compete against larger firms during the solicitation process. You can learn more about the benefits of certifying as a DVBE here.

For more information on how the Office of Small Business can help you, please submit a question or call us at 323-881-3964. Be sure to RSVP to our last Contracting Connections event of 2018 in Montebello to learn more about selling your goods and services to the County of Los Angeles.

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