The state of California is building a $42 billion high-speed train and 25 percent of the contracts are supposed to go to small business as well as 3 percent should go to companies owned by disabled veterans.
According to officials who recently attended a recent small business seminar on the new system at the First African Methodist Episcopal (FAME) Renaissance Business Center, because of the $55 million in federal stimulus funding the California High Speed Rail project received, it must begin construction of the line by Sept. 20, 2012.
The rail project is divided into four different segments, and officials advised small businesses to begin now developing relationships with the prime contractors who awarded the right to building the line. They also urged entrepreneurs to obtain all the certifications needed to be eligible to submit bids.
The project will need businesses that provide services that include plumbing, telecommunications, grading, painting, and more. To get a clear idea of what contracts are expected to be available, contact STV Inc., the prime contractor for the Los Angeles to Anaheim segment.
But before doing that, take care of the basics. The first step in the process of getting your foot in the door is to register on the state’s database.
Those companies with gross annual sales of $14 million or less, that have 100 or fewer employees are eligible to self-certify as a small business on this database.
The next step is to get certified by the state of California as a small business. Those who get certified, receive a 5 percent bid preference on contracts. The state has a separate certification process from other entities, so consequently, certifications by other agencies such as MTA or the city or county of Los Angeles are not acceptable.
Once you are registered and certified, state officials say attending bidders’ conferences is an excellent way to get your company and you in front of the prime contractors and the government officials, who must make the bidding decisions.
For detailed information on the project, visit