Butts County Administrator Michael Brewer announced on Friday a new initiative designed to help local businesses and service providers to be a part of County purchasing programs. A program of the Butts County Administration Department, it will create and maintain a Local Vendor Database that can assist the purchasing division when purchases for the County need to be made.
“The County government is a major purchaser of goods, professional services and equipment used to support it’s operations locally” said Brewer. “Since everything we do is here in Butts County, it only makes sense that we increase our efforts to reinvest local tax dollars back into our local economy. This keeps those dollars circulating here, growing jobs and supporting our commercial base”.
That economy has changed a lot since 2008. During the last five years, a significant number of established businesses closed their doors but a number of new ones have come in as well, adding to the local economy. Business license applications aren’t designed to provide the level of detail necessary to help the purchasing division make informed decisions. This can often lead to a business being overlooked when the time comes to purchase goods used in the day to day operation of the County.
“We have a lot of businesses, service providers and workers right here in Butts County that can provide many of the items we purchase for the needs of the County government” said Brewer. “We currently price goods and services from those we know about and who have let us know of what they offer but even so, we are often surprised to find that a local business might have expanded what they offer and we didn’t know we could obtain what we needed from them. By creating a local vendor database that focuses on what these businesses can provide to Butts County, we will have a greater ability to locate and competitively price local services or to procure some of the products that are used by our departments for their operations”.
Registering to be a part of the local vendor database is easy. A short application form will be available in the County Commissioner’s Office beginning on November 1st that will allow the local business to provide critical information such as contact information, a website if available and a listing of what goods or services their business provides. Because some County funds come from State and Federal grants or other sources, some additional information will be required by the County to ensure that the business is eligible for payment with government funding sources.
“The application will be simple and will provide a good base of information that will help our departments know what is locally available” said Brewer. “We also intend to share the forms with our partners in economic development such as the Development Authority and the Chamber of Commerce so that when new businesses come to town, we can include them as well. We will then make the database information available to them, as well as any other local governments that would like it such as the school system, water authority and the cities. I know that they also use local services when it is practical and cost effective to do so and with all of us working together, I think the local economy will get something back from what they put into the system”.” he added.
Once compiled, the vendor database will be maintained by the Administration Department and checked when off-contract purchase orders are initiated by County departments. The County will continue to use competitive pricing in its decisions, in accordance with the Purchasing Policy. At certain thresholds, competitive bid submission is required but with the database available, local vendors can be contacted and asked to submit a competitive bid. Applications will be available November 1st at the Butts County Commissioner’s Office or at the Chamber of Commerce/Development Authority offices in the Administration Building.