WASHINGTON, DC—Mayor Vincent C. Gray, The Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA) President Lynn Schubert, Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) Director Harold Pettigrew, and District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Director Terry Bellamy today announced the launch of the "Bond Your Business: Road Map to Success" Bonding Program, a new partnership designed to increase the competitiveness of District-based small businesses through bond readiness training.
At the end of the event, Mayor Gray and President Schubert signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to formalize the partnership.
"The District’s economy is fueled by small businesses, and this partnership exemplifies our shared commitment to ensuring that our business community is offered the best available resources to lay a strong foundation and improve their capacity to grow and compete," said Mayor Gray. "SFAA has been a recognized leader in the surety industry, and we are very fortunate to have their expertise."
Bond Your Business is developed from the SFAA’s Model Contractor Development Program (MCDP), a series of workshops designed to educate small and emerging contractors on improving their bonding capacity. The program will provide small businesses with assistance for qualifying in the surety market and gaining access to surety credit. Bonding readiness helps small businesses secure surety bonds for construction projects, and includes workshops on accounting and financial management, insurance requirements, safety management, credit repair, cost estimating and more.
"DSLBD is committed to helping Certified Business Enterprises with competing for and winning work in the District," said Pettigrew. "It is critical for small businesses to access the capital they need and the bonding to compete on the many construction projects underway across our city. Helping firms to navigate the process of becoming bond-ready will further alleviate one of the biggest challenges facing small contractors. The Bond Your Business initiative will ensure that our firms are equipped with the tools necessary to be successful and help to further strengthen the District’s local economy."
"The Surety & Fidelity Association of America is pleased to enter into this agreement, which formalizes our ongoing efforts with the District of Columbia to make bonding more accessible to DC-based contractors," said Schubert. "For the past several years, our Model Contractor Development Program successfully has been implemented throughout the country, including in DC, and these initiatives have resulted in more than $400 million in bonding to small and emerging contractors. We are excited about our partnership with the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development and the District Department of Transportation and look forward to continued success under this program."
"Our partnership with The Surety & Fidelity Association of America and the US Department of Transportation’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization will help us advance the various programs we are implementing to further strengthen the foundation of our transportation-related small businesses," said Bellamy.
Bond Your Business consists of seven highly interactive classroom workshops that will provide a range of information related to improving the company’s operations. Each workshop features presentations by professionals in the field, and will consist of one-on-one interactions between business owners and surety bond producers and underwriters, during which they address issues in the application process that could pose challenges to the underwriting of a bond for small businesses. DSLBD’s program will launch in March 2013, with a complementary program administered by DDOT in the fall of 2013 for small businesses focused on construction opportunities in the transportation sector.
The deadline for the 2013 Bond Your Business program is March 21, 2013. For more information on and how to apply for the Bond Your Business program, please visit http://dslbd.dc.gov
Details about DDOT’s Bond Your Business program will be made available online this fall on DDOT’s Business Opportunity and Workforce Development Center website.