How does a start-up construction company go from being a home-based business to arrive at a level where it operates from two offices, has a dozen contracts, supports 15 full-time construction managers at multiple sites on an aggregate of nearly $10 million of awards?
Jaime Pinedo, can answer the question, “Work with the Los Angeles District Office of the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA).” Mr. Pinedo founded his Miramar Construction, Inc. in 1999 with expectations to grow into an entity that could handle large construction and general engineering and public works projects. He recognized the potential in joining the SBA 8(a) program and quickly sought the Agency’s assistance.
The SBA’s Section 8(a) Program is a business development program to help businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals gain equal access to the resources needed to develop their ability to compete on an equal footing in the mainstream of the American Federal Procurement Process. Companies admitted to the program are assigned a Business Opportunity Specialist (BOS) to provide one-on-one counseling, schedule training workshops, and to assist the company in its expansion into the realm of federal government contract activity and ultimately achieve full and independent competitive viability.
Miramar received its 8(a) certification in February 2002. Within a short time, Jaime Pinedo was selected to attend an SBA sponsored week-long training program held at Clark Atlanta University. He took full advantage of this scholarship to the prestigious SBA Executive Education Program and was selected as the First Place winner in the Business Case Competition.
Mr. Pinedo received constant communications, encouragement, counsel and guidance from Bonita Rentie, his BOS. In addition, Ms. Rentie aided him in developing an efficient plan to optimize the benefits of the 8(a) program. As a result he was able to effectively market his business and attain further exposure via promotion opportunities at numerous conferences and expositions.
Under the SBA’s aegis, Miramar was trained for and accepted into the mentor Protégé Program and the HUBZone program. Acceptance into these two valuable programs opened the access door to contracts of varying size, scope and complexity. Accessing these contracts helped Miramar assume the critical mass to foster profitable growth and to create additional employment opportunities in construction and engineering.
Miramar Construction was selected as the first contractor to perform two emergency contracts to remove debris from multiple basins for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Because of this specialized experience and his recognition as a solid public works engineer, Jaime was invited to join the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) and was soon asked to sit on the board of this influential organization.
Los Angeles SBA District Director, Alberto G. Alvarado praised Mr. Pinedo stating, “Jaime Pinedo is a great American success story. He arduously worked the program to leverage his resources and thereby maximized the benefits that his company received.”
Jamie Pinedo has indeed benefited from the excellent tutelage thus far provided by the SBA. However, he is not one to rest on his laurels. The lessons the SBA taught him will keep him ever vigilant when it comes to prospecting for new business. For example, at a recent SBA sponsored matchmaking expo held in The Disneyland Hotel, one of the most industrious of the 1,000 companies seeking new business was Miramar Construction. And who was there representing Miramar in its attempts to acquire more blocks to better build his company, Jaime Pinedo, himself?
To contact the SBA Los Angeles District Office for information on 8(a) Business Development call:
- Armida Brother at (818) 552-3233
- Catherine Clark at (818) 552-3311
- Betsy Copelan at (818) 552-3313
- Bonita Rentie at (818) 552-3310
- Carlos Johnson at (818) 552-3232
Or visit the SBA’s user friendly web site at www.sba.gov.