On August 11th, PeopleFund will celebrate the launch of the Small Contractor Rotation Program in Houston. We will be participating in the program as a lender, and we are looking forward to the exciting possibilities this opens up in our endeavors to meet the needs of small business owners.
The official City of Houston press release about the program is included below.
City of Houston Public Works Launches Small Contractor Rotation Program
On Tuesday, August 11, 2015, the City of Houston will recognize seven entities that will be the backbone of a new City program designed to help small construction contractors better compete for City construction contracts – the first program of its kind in the State of Texas.
The participating financial institutions and non-profit entities are: Advantage Business Capital, Houston Business Development, Inc., LiftFund, Iberia Bank, PeopleFund, Unity National Bank, and the bonding company, SureTec.
For the City’s new Small Contractor Rotation Program, these entities will help small contractors establish the healthy credit and performance history needed to participate in bidding, and completing, City construction contracts – which generally have complicated requirements and a financial value that is out of reach for the average small contractors. The entities will work directly with the small business owner, helping to leverage the business’ cash flow, bonding, and contract size, which better transitions them to prime contractor status. Once the small business has selected one of the participating entities, the small business is then placed in a queue whereby they can be selected on City work orders on a specific rotation cycle. The work orders will be small enough for the business to compete to provide the services, yet large enough to demonstrate their abilities to successfully complete the job per the requirements. Additionally, the participating entities will offer business guidance, and financial coaching and training.
City departments participating in the partnership include the Public Works and Engineering Department, which is spearheading the program, the Office of the City Controller, and the Office of Business Opportunity. The Small Contractor Rotation Program will be a two-year program. For more information about the program, contact: Angela Aaron at 832.395.2493. Small businesses wishing to take advantage of this program should visit the website: www.publicworks.houstontx.gov/director/sbdg.
“This is yet another way the Public Works and Engineering Department invests in our small business community,” said Tony Henshaw, Division Manager of the Department of Public Works and Engineering’s Small Business Development Group.
About City of Houston Public Works and Engineering Department
The City of Houston Public Works and Engineering Department provides many of the basic services that affect the daily lives of everyone who lives and works in Houston. Primarily, the department is responsible for all the things we take for granted on a daily basis: the administration, planning, maintenance, construction management and technical engineering of the City’s infrastructure. This includes the production and distribution of over 146 billion gallons of water per year and the treatment of over 90 billion gallons per year of wastewater. That is enough to fill the Astrodome four times per day with fresh water and over twice per day with wastewater. It also includes the maintenance of the City’s over 16,000 lane miles of streets, over 60,000 stormwater manholes, over 100,000 stormwater inlets, over 900,000 street name and traffic control signs, over 17,000 freeway and under bridge light fixtures, over 50,000 fire hydrants and traffic signals at over 2,000 intersections.
Peoplefund is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established in 1994. It is a U.S. Treasury certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and SBA certified lender. PeopleFund provides business loans up to $350,000 to Texas businesses that do not qualify for bank loans. It also provides client business assistance and education. The target market is minority, women, and veteran business owners and those residing in low to moderate income census tracts. Over 40% of current loans are to startups and non-profit organizations. Through access to capital and educational opportunities, PeopleFund creates economic opportunity and financial stability for underserved people to build healthy small businesses.