KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Small businesses can contribute great things to projects of all sizes and that is why engineering, architecture and construction firm Burns & McDonnell is proud to be a part of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Mentor-Protégé Program.
The initiative allows larger companies such as Burns & McDonnell to partner with small companies so the smaller firms can benefit from the experience and resources of more seasoned government contractors. Through the SBA Mentor-Protégé Program, the environmental team at Burns & McDonnell is partnering with Bluestone Environmental Group, an 8(a)-certified woman-owned small business headquartered in Malvern, Pennsylvania. Bluestone specializes in environmental engineering consulting, with extensive experience in environmental compliance, permitting, regulatory reporting and environmental investigations.
Members of the environmental team at Burns & McDonnell are serving as Bluestone’s federal contract mentors, providing a wide range of business development assistance. From fine-tuning strategic initiatives to offering help with accounting, marketing, human resources, contract bidding and navigating the federal procurement process, the primary goal of the partnership is to enhance Bluestone’s capabilities so the firm can secure more government contracts.
The partnership also is designed to help Bluestone — an economically disadvantaged business — identify opportunities outside of federal contracts so that the company can diversify its overall business portfolio and foster future stability. The goal is to position Bluestone for long-term success in the consulting marketplace.
According to the SBA Office of Advocacy, only half of all small businesses survive more than five years. A survey by global shipping and logistics firm UPS found 70% of small businesses that received mentoring survived more than five years — double the survival rate of non-mentored businesses.
“As we work together to create mutually beneficial pathways to growth, we are jointly opening doors to new opportunities and a shared network,” says Lisa Myers, president and owner of Bluestone. “For this relationship to be a success, both companies have to come to the table with an understood framework for engagement and clarity around roles and performance expectations. Of utmost importance is a commitment to wholeheartedly pursuing opportunities that neither company could pursue alone, as well as a commitment to mutual investment, benefit and growth.”
A key component of the working arrangement is maintaining a transparent and flexible relationship that allows both organizations to take the lead on project opportunities, as well as learning initiatives. It is anticipated that the SBA partnership, which began in the spring of 2021, will open up opportunities for both firms, especially as the call for diverse business partnerships in government contracting continues to grow.
“We want to help diverse, small businesses win. One way to do that is through partnerships such as this,” says Brian Hoye, a section manager in the Environmental Services Group at Burns & McDonnell. “For Bluestone, the mentoring offers a chance to be supported by a large company, allowing the firm to take on more complex projects. For Burns & McDonnell, working with a small company that has a similar work ethic and dedication to client service enables us to be even more agile and innovative when seeking and executing projects.”
To learn more about our diverse business initiatives, including partnerships Burns & McDonnell has with other companies like Bluestone Environmental Group, read our digital newsletter, Together By Design.
About Burns & McDonnell
Burns & McDonnell is a family of companies bringing together an unmatched team of 7,600 engineers, construction professionals, architects, planners, technologists and scientists to design and build our critical infrastructure. With an integrated construction and design mindset, we offer full-service capabilities. Founded in 1898 and working from more than 60 offices globally, Burns & McDonnell is 100% employee-owned. Learn how we are designed to build.
About Bluestone Environmental Group
Bluestone Environmental Group, Inc. (Bluestone) is an 8(a)-certified woman-owned small business specializing in environmental consulting, environmental risk assessments and engineering services. Bluestone is certified by the United States (U.S.) Women’s Chamber of Commerce as an Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB). Bluestone is classified as a Small Business under multiple NAICS codes; 541330, 541620 and 562910, and is a U.S.-owned company. For additional information, visit bluestoneenviro.com.
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