The city of Myrtle Beach spent about $60 million in vendor contracts last year, however very few of those contracts were awarded to small, local businesses, said John Cowan, the city’s purchasing manager.
Cowan hopes to change that by holding a forum on Thursday to help small, local businesses understand what their options are when it comes applying for vendor contracts with the city.
“The fact is that, what’s the use of having a purchasing office if you can’t get local vendors involved?” Cowan said.
Cowan said having small businesses more involved in city contracts helps everyone.
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“It brings in the revenue to the city, yes, but we’re also looking at the growth of the city of Myrtle Beach,” Cowan said. “And it brings more competition to the city.”
Cowan presented plans to Myrtle Beach City Council members on Oct. 14 to let them know.
A businesses would be eligible to participate as a “qualified Myrtle Beach small business” if it is independently owned and operated, pays business license fees to the city, has 20 or fewer employees and grosses less than $1 million.
“We want to tell them how to submit a bid – on anything from a fire truck or police car to landscaping and janitorial services,” Cowan said. “Anything that maintain the city on a daily basis.”
The city currently is seeking bids on a range of contracts from gifts that are given at the annual volunteer appreciation lunch to providing and installing an in-house security and monitoring system for the new 100,000-square-foot Myrtle Beach Sports Center slated to open in March.
Additional opportunities are advertised and listed on the city’s website at www.cityofmyrtlebeach.com/bids.html.
Cowan said he plans to go out and educate vendors to let them know there are always opportunities to work with the city.