Los Angeles City Councilman Curren Price has introduced a motion to provide further support and expansion of contracting opportunities for small and micro businesses within the city. The 9th District councilman said he wants to “level the playing field” to help such special groups to secure public contracts.

Price said Los Angeles reportedly spends more than $1 billion annually on public contracts for goods and services, but local small and micro businesses are not receiving a sufficient percentage of those contracts despite recent efforts to help balance the city portfolio of business agreements.

“Small businesses are the life and blood of our local economy and as chair of Economic Development, I am committed to doing everything I can to support and ensure the long-term viability of this vital part of our business community,” Price said.

Price has asked the city’s Bureau of Contract Administration to report on methods it could utilize to offer more assistance to the small and micro business community, including providing larger bid discounts, subcontracting opportunities, and information and training. He has also asked the department to study the feasibility of setting aside a “larger percentage” of the city’s contracts exclusively for small and micro businesses.

The city of San Francisco this year approved a plan where no less than half of its eligible public works and construction contracts—and no less than one-quarter of its eligible services and commodities contracts—will go to small and micro businesses in an effort officials now refer to as a “sheltered marketplace.”

Since taking office, Price has honored some of the city’s most prominent African American business leaders. He said that these individuals have “dedicated their professional careers” to expanding opportunities for Black-owned firms, among them Jacque Bee and Crystal Mitchell, co-directors of Recycling Black Dollars; Earl “Skip” Cooper, founder of the Black Business Association; Gene Hale, president of G & C Equipment Corp. and co-founder of the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce, and Madame M.C. Townsend, president of the Regional Black Chamber of Commerce of the San Fernando Valley.

“These individuals are all consummate professionals whose vital contributions to economic development in the greater Los Angeles African American community have been invaluable,” Price said.