How to keep dollars spent by local government in the local economy came up at the Inyo supervisors meeting on Tuesday.
Dan Stone with the Owens Valley Contractors and Vendors Association came to ask that Inyo County consider a goal to make sure some of the money the county spends on materials and projects will go toward small businesses.
When the Bishop City Council considered giving preference to local contractors for city projects, the council was told by their legal counsel that the city was bound by law to accept the lowest responsible bidder.
With this new proposal to the Inyo Supervisors, Stone explained that there may be ways to possibly favor businesses that meet the state defined guidelines for being a small business or a business that is owned by a disabled veteran. California has a program at the state level that allows certified small businesses under 100 employees to receive a 5% bidding preference on goods and services under $100,000 and public works projects up to $147,000.
Stone explained that there were only two state certified businesses owned by disabled veterans in Inyo County, but there are dozens of small businesses that could qualify for a bidding preference if the county chose to adopt a program like the state.
Whether something like this could work and whether the Supervisors would approve is yet to be seen. County staff is set to look into the proposal and bring information back to the board.