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Local businesses gain priority status in contract proceedings

Local businesses will now receive preferential treatment from Montgomery County Government. Over the past week a new bill was passed to grant businesses within the County priority over outsiders when bidding on contracts. Council members, including Nancy Navarro, voted collectively to ensure the law was approved. She asserted that the bill now legalizes procedures that were already in place along with a few additions.

The bill was first introduced and reviewed at a public hearing in February. The issue resurfaced on last Tuesday leading everyone to vote cooperatively. Council Vice President George Leventhal disclosed that business owners have complained on numerous occasions about the contract process being too lengthy and at times unfair. He supports the bill and hopes to present a less complicated system for them.

Director David Dise, Department of General Services, said that the law provides regulations in situations where there is a tie in bids or ranking in contracts. In order to be given first preference, the County-based offeror must be compliant to this law. Needless to say, all bids should be lower than their competitors and operations must be conducted at an office or facility located within County lines for a minimum of six months. Also, transactions should have occurred prior to responding to any solicitations and submitting a bid.

One of the major concerns that Council President Craig Rice planned to address upon acceptance of his leadership role was to assist local businesses with acquiring better contract procedures. He was intricate in getting the bill approved.

Since last year, small businesses throughout the County were awarded contracts that were worth over $233 million. With the new legislation, companies will expand further and eventually create more jobs for the residents. Rice is currently preparing to implement additional procedures within the forthcoming weeks to further support these companies.

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