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Bob Kellar: Live from City Hall

Posted: March 23, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: March 23, 2013 2:00 a.m.
 

The belief that "what is good for business is good for Santa Clarita" is a mantra that the city of Santa Clarita takes seriously. That’s why City Council and staff are dedicated to providing local businesses with the tools and resources necessary to strengthen operations and improve sustainability, especially during difficult economic times.

The city’s commitment includes working with local businesses to ensure purchasing of products and services stays local whenever possible because we know that shopping within our community has big impacts.

In the last year, the city awarded 72 bids, quotes, and proposals totaling more than $15.5 million dollars. As a part of that, more than $2.2 million of those jobs were awarded to local businesses and vendors.

The following is information about Santa Clarita’s efforts to keep purchases and services local with quality purchasing practices.

Ten percent local support program

Santa Clarita purchases a variety of products and services each year, from materials and security to landscaping and janitorial services. The city uses the bidding process to secure these materials and services and offers a 10 percent local preference to support keeping purchases in Santa Clarita whenever possible.

The city’s purchasing policy provides an opportunity for Santa Clarita-based businesses to match a low bid if the local company is within 10 percent of the lowest quote from a non-local business.

The 10 percent preference allows the city to keep more purchases local while increasing opportunities for companies to do business with the city. (By law, public works, multiple criteria, and federally funded contracts are excluded from the 10 percent program.)

Outreach through

business partnerships

Santa Clarita works closely with community business partners in outreaching to local companies to keep them informed of upcoming bids and opportunities to work with the city. In fact, this past week more than 80 local businesses attended a workshop to learn more about how to do business with the city.

When a city contract goes out to bid, city staff reaches out to the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce and Valley Industrial Association, as well as to companies that request a bid in a specific category, to communicate all available bidding information and timing for submitting a bid.

Contract Information

available on city’s website

If your business supplies a product or service the city uses and you want to do business with the city, you can add your company name to the supplier registration list on the city’s website.

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 informational about the bidding and quoting process, visit Santa-Clarita.com, scroll over the Business tab, click on Purchasing & Bids, then click on the Supplier Registration option to register your company. Signing up is free.

In 2012, the city also updated its purchasing software to a Web-based program called Planetbids, which now includes more than 200 local vendors.

The online program makes it easier and more convenient to do business with the city.

Additionally, it provides an automated system for delivery of information about city bids, quotes, and proposals to those companies who are registered, saving valuable time and money for all involved.

Checks and balances

The city goes through a series of consistent procedures to select vendors. Several variables are considered during the evaluation process, including bid price, company and qualifications, among others.

Being a responsive and knowledgeable bidder is essential during the process. And it is important to remember that along with being the lowest bidder, submitting a complete and correct bid package helps increase the chances of securing the business.

The city of Santa Clarita recognizes that local businesses greatly contribute to our economic vitality. We want your business to thrive for the well-being of you and your family, your employees and our community.

Through business initiatives like the "In Support of Santa Clarita Businesses," the city is able to enhance local business partnerships while supporting job sustainability and creation in Santa Clarita.

If you have any questions about doing business with Santa Clarita, please contact the city’s Purchasing Division at 661-286-4193 or visit Santa-Clarita.com.

Bob Kellar is the mayor of Santa Clarita and can be reached at BKellar@santa-clarita.com.

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