Published in Economic Development

New GR purchasing guidelines offer higher discounts for local biz

BY MiBiz Staff Thursday, June 18, 2020 04:51pm

The city of Grand Rapids announced new purchasing guidelines this week that offer up to a 9 percent discount on bids in order to support local businesses.

The discount is meant to be an incentive for companies to do business with the city while also helping with their pandemic recovery efforts, officials said.

“This is a terrific opportunity for local and minority-owned businesses to do business with the City,” Alvin Hills IV, business developer in the City’s Office of Equity and Engagement, said in a statement.

Grand Rapids annually awards $35 million in term contracts and one-time purchases on projects costing more than $10,000. The city issues hundreds of bid requests a year “for everything from heating and cooling services to pest control,” Hills added.

Companies that qualify as “hyper-local” now qualify for up to a 9 percent discount on their submitted bids to the city, up from 3 percent under previous guidelines. Companies located in 17 Census tracts with high rates of poverty and unemployment are eligible for a 7 percent discount.

Under previous guidelines, the maximum discount for Grand Rapids-based companies was 2 percent. It is now 5 percent.

“We want to do business locally and we hope these new incentives drive economic development in our city as we work together toward economic recovery,” Hills said.

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