Hg Consult, Inc. is Paving the Way to Success

Kansas City District Office  - June 2022

u s small business administration

Hg Consult, Inc. is Paving the Way to Success

Hg Consult, Inc. was founded in 2010 by Earl Harrison Jr., an African American and another partner who recognized an opportunity to start a new consulting, engineering, and planning firm under the certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) programs. Combined with an aging public infrastructure, it afforded a start-up condition not available under other start-up circumstances.

For more than two decades, Harrison, a civil engineer, has led Hg Consult’s transportation projects in the Midwest, ranging from small municipal level street design projects to large Interstate interchange projects. They have also worked on numerous high-profile infrastructure projects, such as the KC Streetcar system and the new Kansas City International Airport terminal.

Since 2010, Hg Consult has expanded its services outside of Kansas City, Missouri, to include offices in Kansas City, Kansas; Denver, Colorado; Austin, Texas; St. Joseph, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; and Waterloo, Iowa. They employ 39 full-time employees.

Hg Consult revenues have grown steadily year after year—over $6 million in 2019 and over $7 million in 2020. “We were looking for a way to further diversify our client base,” said Harrison. “We were looking at the prime contracting opportunities, not only on the federal but the state and city levels, he added. Harrison contacted the Kansas City Small Business Administration’s (SBA) District Office on how they could grow their portfolio in the federal market sector. They were guided to the SBA’s 8(a) Program, 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 federal procurement process.

Hg Consult worked with Carolina Vargas, SBA Business Opportunity Specialist, who provided one-on-one counseling, scheduled training workshops, and assisted the firm in its expansion into the realm of federal government contract activity and achieving full and independent competitive viability.

Vargas aided Harrison in developing an efficient plan to optimize the benefits of the 8(a) program. “She has been there 100% of the way and led us all the way through it. She is very helpful and upfront. The 8(a) program is valuable—it has opened the door to get involved in government contracting,” said Harrison. Hg Consult received its certification from the 8(a) program in 2022.

Hg Consult, Inc. was also accepted into the SBA’s Mentor-Protégé Joint Venture program—to help eligible small businesses (protégés) gain capacity and win government contracts through partnerships with more experienced companies (mentors).

“A mentor and its protégé can joint venture as a small business for any small business contract, provided the protégé individually qualifies as small. Hg Consult’s acceptance into this program opens the door to contracts of varying size, scope, and complexity,” explained Vargas.

She adds, “Earl Harrison serves as a great example of the leadership skills necessary to develop the company into a high-functioning federal contractor and contribute to the local economy.”

“With the continued decline of our nation's infrastructure and the current economic climate created by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are poised to grow our service offerings to the federal government as well as growing geographically,” said Harrison.

With the aid of the SBA’s 8(a) and Mentor-Protégé Joint Venture programs, Harrison’s engineering and planning firm is on its way to growing further.

 

Disclaimer: SBA’s participation or support is not an endorsement of any products, service, or entity.

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Earl Harrison, President of Hg Consult, Inc. located in Kansas City