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Press Releases - County Council

Council approves bill establishing Local Business Preference Program

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Expedited Bill 25-19 would increase the number of local businesses awarded County contracts and establish a Local Business Preference Program for certain County contracts

ROCKVILLE, Md., June 23, 2020—Today the Montgomery County Council unanimously approved Expedited Bill 25-19, Contracts and Procurement – Local Business Preference Program-Established. Councilmember Nancy Navarro, who is chair of the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee, is the lead sponsor of the bill at the request of the County Executive. Expedited Bill 25-19 would increase the number of local businesses awarded County contracts and establish a Local Business Preference Program for certain County contracts. The Council amended the effective date for Expedited Bill 25-19 to August 1, 2020 to give the Office of Procurement time to prepare for changes in procurement procedures.

“Today the Council added another tool to the County's toolkit in enacting this law that mandates a 10 percent price preference for a local business bidding on a contract or an evaluation factor worth 10 percent of the total points for a local business submitting a proposal under an RFP for a contract awarded by our County,” said Councilmember Navarro. “Under the umbrella of our Economic Development Platform, we are determined to make Montgomery County a business-friendly environment that places a high premium on attracting, retaining and supporting local businesses.”

“This is a topic that we have heard about repeatedly over the years and I am pleased that we were finally able to bring it to fruition,” said Council President Sidney Katz. “ As a former small business owner, I know how important it is to keep local businesses here. This bill is another tool in the toolbox to do just that.”

“Supporting local businesses that employ our friends and neighbors is always important, especially now,” said Councilmember Andrew Friedson, who serves on the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee. “This is a chance to direct our county tax dollars to the local employers who pay county taxes, sustain our county economy, and fund our county services.”

Expedited Bill 25-19 would provide a 10 percent price preference in evaluating a bid or proposal from a local business on a contract awarded by the County and is intended to bolster the County’s economic growth and support the creation and retention of employment opportunities within the County. The Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee amended the bill to cap the dollar amount of the preference at $200,000 for a competitive sealed bid.

“The local preference points law is something that Montgomery County-based businesses have long deserved,” said Office of Procurement Director Ash Shetty. “In the immediate future, this law will help the local economy as we dig ourselves out of the post-Covid-19 slump. In the long run, it will help build a vibrant and thriving local business ecosystem in Montgomery County.”

The Director of the Office of Procurement would be required to certify a business as a local business if it has its principal place of business in the County. The Procurement Regulations define a principal place of business in the County as: the business has its physical business location or locations only in the County; or the business has physical business locations both in and outside of the County, and the County-based locations account for more than 50 percent of the business’s total number of employees, or more than 50 percent of the business’s gross sales.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

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Release ID: 20-274
Media Contact: Ikhide Roland Ikheloa 240-777-7968