City Approves Local Business Certification Program
Program Reflects Commission Priority of Job Retention/Creation - To provide another boost to the area economy, the Tallahassee City Commission tonight approved a new Local Business Certification Program. The program will provide additional incentives for local businesses to offer goods and services to the City. The City Commission unanimously approved the program at its regular meeting.
The certification program was developed in response to input provided during a series of local workshops that examined financial sustainability efforts for the community. Led by Mayor John Marks following a suggestion from City Commissioner Andrew Gillum, the workshops brought together leaders from the business, government and institutional communities in Tallahassee, to develop collaborative efforts to sustain and improve our local economy. In addition, the proposed program reflects the City Commission's ongoing priority of job creation and retention.
The new certification program goes beyond existing City purchasing preference policies as it would offer larger preferences, implement utilization goals and include routine training opportunities for local vendors on procurement issues. Businesses within Leon County holding City-issued certifications would receive a bid preference of 20 percent, with a 10 percent preference offered to businesses in Gadsden, Jefferson and Wakulla counties, as opposed to the 5 percent preference currently given to all local businesses.
A key component of the program includes the establishment of specific participation goals designed to increase the opportunities available for local businesses to bid on City contracts. City departments would be encouraged to award more of their purchases and contracts to local businesses, while prime contractors would likewise be urged to use local smaller firms for subcontracting needs. While developing the proposed program, City staff sought input from representatives of local businesses, the Capital City Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce.
"In essence, the City Commission wanted us to find ways to help ensure the City's own dollars to remain here in Tallahassee and the surrounding counties," said Raoul Lavin, director of the Department of Management and Administration." Now that the program has been approved, we expect more locally-owned businesses to become certified with the City, increasing the likelihood of their being awarded bids for goods and services. That will be a win-win for our community and the surrounding area as the funds remain here to retain and create jobs."
The program also includes the development of a comprehensive database of local companies approved to take part in the program, a tracking system to monitor the levels of certified local business expenditures and a training program for local business personnel to assist them in accessing City bid information. The program was developed as a one-year pilot initiative to be reviewed for overall effectiveness.
Contact: Raoul Lavin, Management & Administration; 891-8149; or Michelle Bono, Assistant to the City Manager, 559-1843