State Representatives Matt Lundy (D-Elyria) and Armond Budish (D-Beachwood) announced that they recently introduced legislation to establish a “Buy Local Ohio” program for Ohio’s public entities. The Buy Local Ohio program would incentivize public schools, safety services and municipalities to give preference to local and Ohio-based contractors for their projects.
“Creating a Buy Local Ohio program will directly benefit our state’s local economies,” said Rep Lundy. “If possible, work done in Lorain County should be performed by Lorain County businesses. It just makes sense—businesses and employees know the city and have a stake in getting the job done right. And the more we drive support to local businesses, the more we can grow our local economies and communities.”
Current Ohio law requires that all pubic subdivisions advertise and take competitive bids for certain projects. These public entities must then select the “lowest responsible bid” for contract. The Buy Local Ohio program would allow public entities to choose a project contract bid that may not be the lowest bid, so long as the bidder meets specified requirements as a responsible local, Ohio company.
“We should be doing everything we can to insert local dollars back into our communities to create and maintain good-paying jobs,” added Rep. Budish.
The Buy Local Ohio legislation specifies that bids must be within three percent of the lowest bid and respond to all project specifications. The bidder’s principal place of business must be within the political subdivision where the project is being performed and the business must pay taxes to the State of Ohio. The business must also be registered and licensed to do business in Ohio and have ten or more employees in Ohio or at least seventy-five percent of its employees based in Ohio.