Metrolink has partnered with Lendistry to create a free small business partnership program to offer small businesses the tools and training needed to bid competitively on the agency’s contracts, widening Metrolink’s pool of “contract ready” businesses.Partnering with small business lender Lendistry and training center, The Center by Lendistry, as well as nonprofit and business consultants, the Metrolink program will provide financial services and technical training to eligible small businesses in its service areas. Once a business completes the program, it is designated “contract ready” which allows them to take advantage of special contract opportunities and incentives, such as local preference points, bond and insurance relief and “net 15” invoicing.“As we continue to encourage economic growth and equity in the communities we serve, the Small Business Partnership Program is designed to remove potential institutional barriers for small businesses and prepare them to compete for and fulfill Metrolink agency contracts. The program is a win for the small business community, for the local economy and for Metrolink,” Metrolink Board Chair and Glendale City Councilmember Ara Najarian said in a statement.The program addresses three areas that have traditionally impeded small companies from competing for Metrolink contracts: opportunity, capital and capacity. Small businesses – including Disadvantaged Business Enterprises, micro-businesses and nonprofits – will be eligible so long as they are headquartered in one of the six Metrolink service counties, which include Los Angeles and Ventura.Metrolink has commuter rail lines in the Valley region. One runs from Lancaster in the Antelope Valley and the other from Ventura to Burbank, where the tracks join and run to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles.
“Small businesses make up half of the state’s workforce, so we are committed to support the long-term growth and success of the small business community in the Southern California region,” Arnold Hackett, Metrolink’s interim chief executive, said in a statement. “We are excited how the program can help advance opportunities for these enterprises.”