SAVE SAN FRANCISCO SMALL BUSINESSES (LBEs)

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BCOMM galvanized the San Francisco community of Public Works, Construction, and Trucking LBE small businesses

to advocate for critical updates to San Francisco's Chapter 14B LBE Ordinance.

 
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Let’s take a look back at the incredible three-year journey that ultimately led to a win for our San Francisco LBE / small business community!

Beginning in 2017, we were brought on by BCOMM client Padraic Ryan, COO of EcoBay Services, to host a series of community meetings for LBE / small business owners to share their experiences contracting in the City and County of San Francisco.

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Understanding the Problem

The San Francisco LBE program was specifically created to level the playing field for small businesses to compete against prime contractors on public contracts, by creating a more equitable business environment.

That level playing field has consistently been challenged in San Francisco where the cost of doing business continues to escalate year after year, making it harder for small businesses to thrive.

Forming a Coalition

We organized a coalition of Public Works, Construction, and Trucking LBEs to tailor critical updates to not only the economic thresholds, but also key areas of the Chapter 14B legislation, that would support the growth and development of all San Francisco small businesses.

 
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The Power of Listening to Learn What You Don’t Know

A consistent voice throughout our meetings was that of the San Francisco LBE Truckers. We discovered that Trucking had in fact formerly never received an increase to its economic threshold, and immediately we were committed to righting this wrong.

BCOMM wrote a comprehensive white paper & created a website that detailed our community-led proposed changes. We then embarked on the arduous process of showing up to every LBE Advisory Committee meeting, to provide updates on the progress of the changes, consistently coordinating feedback between the LBEAC, our coalition and CMD.

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Iteration & Organization

From the beginning, our coalition was intentional about creating capacity-building opportunities like  increasing the micro-set aside contracting value from $709,000 to $1,000,000, creating a Pilot Neighborhood Program to give MicroLBEs bid discounts on projects in the neighborhoods their businesses are headquartered, and many more.

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Nov. 2, 2021

We gained unanimous support from the Board of Supervisors.

July 2, 2021

Our proposed changes were approved by the LBE advisory committee.

Nov. 17, 2021

The Mayor of San Francisco, London Breed, signed our changes into law with an official signing ceremony.

Engaging With City Leaders

During this time, small businesses continued to face many challenges due to COVID-19. In-person community meetings became video conferences, but together, we maintained momentum and embarked on a series of meetings with the City Administrator’s office and each member of the Board of Supervisors. 

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Still More Work to be Done…

There is absolutely more work to be done, but, in considering the timing of this legislation as small businesses continue to fight their way out of the economic pitfalls of Covid-19, and the passing of Biden's $1.2 Trillion infrastructure bill, our hope is that over time this legislation will contribute to San Francisco small businesses maturing into medium-sized businesses, and eventually large-sized businesses. LBEs, and particularly MicroLBEs in  San Francisco deserve to be considered first, when it comes to contracting in San Francisco and access to more opportunities, and this legislation lays the foundation for that to happen.

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