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Bob Kellar: City enhances opportunities for local businesses

Live from City Hall

Posted: March 12, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 12, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

The city of Santa Clarita relies upon strong community partnerships to help shape a prosperous environment for sustainable and successful local business growth. As many know, this effort has proved to be particularly challenging during the Great Recession, posing many difficulties for our local businesses community and the city alike.

Recognizing the severe fiscal impacts affecting local companies, the city works hard to provide Santa Clarita businesses with the tools and resources necessary to strengthen operations and improve sustainability in difficult economic times.
One of those ways is with our 10-percent Local Support Program, which seeks to help city-based businesses work with Santa Clarita.

Doing business with city
Each year, the city of Santa Clarita utilizes the bidding process to enlist local businesses in bidding on materials and general services within the city. The city purchases many products and services ranging from materials and security to landscaping and janitorial services.

Opportunities for conducting business with the city are abundant through the city’s purchasing processes. In 2009, the city broadened business opportunities to help city-based vendors stay competitive and keep more purchases here within our community. 

The 10-percent Local Support Program provides assistance to local businesses in the bidding process for city purchases. The program encourages local purchasing by allowing Santa Clarita-based businesses to match a low bid if the local company is within 10 percent of a quote from a nonlocal business. 

In this way, the city is working to keep purchasing within our community, benefitting our local businesses and residents.

Business partnerships
The city of Santa Clarita also works closely with community business partners in outreaching to local companies so they can be informed of available city business opportunities. 

When a city contract goes out to bid, staff reaches out to the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce and Valley Industry Association, as well as to companies that request a bid in a specific category, to pass along all available bidding information to their local business members. 

Contract information
The city of Santa Clarita purchases thousands of items each year and the city’s purchasing website lists all of those products and services.

If your business supplies a product or service that the city utilizes, you may add your company name to the supplier registration. The city of Santa Clarita strongly encourages the participation of all business types in the public bid process, regardless of the size of the company. To register your company as a potential vendor or for additional information about the bidding and quoting process, visit Santa-Clarita.com and click on ‘Purchasing Services’ under the Business tab to complete the process.

Checks and balances
The city goes through a series of procedures to select various vendors. Several variables are considered including bid price, company and qualifications, among others. Being a responsive and knowledgeable bidder is essential during the process.

Realize that along with being the lowest bidder, submitting a complete and correct bid package helps determine your chances of landing the business.

If in any case, your references are substandard (e.g. negative financial standing, barred from working with another public agency, etc.), your proposal may be disqualified. And in some cases, state code forces the disqualification of the lowest bid because the required information was incomplete or inaccurate. 

The city wants to be sure that we are providing local businesses with all the necessary tools to work with the city whenever possible.

Through business initiatives like the 10-percent Local Support Program, the city is able to enhance local business partnerships, encourage quality job creation in Santa Clarita and develop programs that encourage retail spending to attract outside dollars to the community. 

It is also worth mentioning that every fall, the city hosts a free seminar, “How to do business with the city,” which provides information about our bid process. 

Should you have any questions or new ideas on how to work with local businesses or regarding the bid process, please contact the city of Santa Clarita at (661) 255-4347 or visit Santa-Clarita.com.

Bob Kellar is a Santa Clarita City Council member and can be reached at: bkellar@santa-clarita.com. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.

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