1. < Back to Articles

    Paying it Forward to Small Businesses

    May 25, 2021

    Balfour Beatty achieves 51% small business participation on the Broward County Convention Center project, significantly exceeding the county's business enterprise goals

    As a community builder, Balfour Beatty knows the importance of supporting and collaborating with small businesses to promote growth and give back to the local communities in which we build. That's why we've taken it a step further at the Broward County Convention Center and Hotel Expansion (BCCCH) project in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and are not only meeting the county's business enterprise goals but also significantly exceeding them. 

    As the design builder on this $780 million expansion of the Broward County Convention Center and new construction of an 800-room, four-diamond Omni Hotel, our commitment was to contract at least 30% of small businesses located in Broward County with a net worth of $1.325 million or less (certified Broward County Business Enterprises), a number the team has quickly surpassed since construction began in summer 2019. 

    And what might be even more impressive is the impact the project team is making on some of the current Broward County business enterprises (CBE) by helping them to graduate out of the Broward County Business Enterprise (CBE) program and catapulting them to compete against established prime contractors already in and outside of Broward County.

    "Our business model emphasizes that we are a local contractor focusing on and supporting the local communities we build in," says John Parker, vice president of operations in Florida. "Our goal not only on this project but every project we work on is to pay it forward to the small businesses in our communities. Through this passion, we've been able to exceed the county's project goal of contracting at least 30% of small business enterprises to about 51%, an unheard-of amount."

    A true backbone of the local community and economy, approximately 89% of businesses in Broward County are considered small. With the currently contracted 51% of work to small businesses in Broward County on the BCCCH, that brings the total number of CBE firms to over 37. More impressively, on average, the project has over 400 workers on-site daily, allowing it to directly invest over 45% of the project expenditure back into local CBE firms, a significant amount for a project of this magnitude. 

    But Balfour Beatty isn't only giving back by partnering with local small businesses at the BCCCH. The project team has leveraged industry connections to assist small contractors like MGM General Contracting Inc. to secure the bonds necessary to execute the project’s substantial concrete scope package valued at approximately $11.25 million. 

    To share best practices and lessons learned partnering with small businesses on the BCCCH, Parker, recently participated in the Broward County Government Office of Economic and Small Business Development's virtual event, "A Conversation on the Impact of Broward Small Businesses." 

    Within the conversation, Parker, along with representatives from project trade partners MGM General Contracting Inc., A&E Construction Solutions and Francis Engineering, provided valuable insights from diverse perspectives around the importance of investing in Broward County's CBEs. 

    With a $1.075B project total, the BCCCH is providing real opportunities for the small businesses of Broward County to partner with a general contractor like Balfour Beatty that is committed to supporting their growth and development into industry leaders. 

    Click here to learn more about the project and how Balfour Beatty is impacting the local community in Broward County.