Making sure Warwick businesses have a shot at city contracts
To the Editor:
Working together to benefit the taxpayers of Warwick, last month the City Council passed an ordinance that will directly support local businesses.
The ordinance addresses the solicitation of bids for the city.
While reviewing bids on the finance committee, Councilman Howe and I noted that many city contracts go to out of state companies. Knowing databases like the Secretary of State's corporate database are available, we drafted an ordinance with the goal of identifying and then contacting Warwick companies when city contracts go out to bid. Previously, the city's purchasing agent solicited bids from past and prospective suppliers who have requested that their names be included on a bidder list. The new ordinance states the purchasing agent shall also solicit bids from prospective vendors by searching additional existing databases.
The RI Secretary of State's corporate database and the Small Business Administration's dynamic small business search engine have updated lists of local companies who currently operate in the city. Searching these databases will help identify Warwick companies who may not currently be on the city's list of bidders. The entire City Council signed on as co-sponsors of the ordinance. It passed 9-0 and was signed by the mayor.
The City Council will continue to award city contracts to the most qualified, lowest bidders. While not all services the city requires can be done by a local company, we want to ensure that Warwick businesses are, at minimum, aware of opportunities to do business with the city.
Because increased competition can drive down costs, including additional bidders on contracts may also save taxpayers money.
This ordinance is another small step that demonstrates Warwick is open for business. We want to create an environment that encourages companies to locate or expand their businesses here. Passing ordinances and resolutions similar to the one referred to above shows business owners that Warwick is a partner city where businesses can thrive.
City Council Ward 7