At her weekly press conference following the City Council meeting on February 30, Mayor Parker highlighted the success of the Hire Houston First program. The goal of the program is to encourage the City of Houston to use more services and products offered by local vendors for contracts valued at less than $100,000. To qualify as “local,” a business must be headquartered within the City limits or the eight local county region including Harris, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller, or have 20% of its workforce and a substantial part of its operations located within the city or the 8-county region,
To date, 617 businesses have been designated as “local.” Nearly 332 have never been awarded contracts with the city. Nearly 51 new businesses are designated each month. Qualifying firms that bid on city contracts can be accepted if their bid is within 5% of the lowest bid received in response to a request for proposals. More than 895 formal bid contracts have been awarded as of September 20, 2012, valued at $139 million. Of those, 81% were the lowest bid, and only 19% relied on the HHF 5% allowance.
The mayor's office estimates that the HHF contracts have sustained at least 6000 jobs, not counting secondary results of increased economic activity by businesses and purchases by their employees.
For more information on the program, applications, the enabling ordinane, and a list of HHF designated companies clck here to see the Hire Houston First page on the City of Houston website.