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Doing Business with Local Vendors

The City of Independence is committed to doing business locally whenever possible. When local businesses provide the most cost effective solutions to the City’s needs, the citizens and taxpayers of Independence benefit in two ways: they get the best value for their dollars, and more of those dollars are recycled within the community. To encourage this, the City’s overall policy is to ensure that local businesses are given full information about City needs, treated fairly at every step of the process, and given every opportunity for genuine competition on a level playing field.

What is a local preference?

Simply defined, a local preference gives local vendors an advantage over non-local vendors to receive City business.

How does this work on a day-to-day basis?

Local businesses are provided a fair and equal opportunity to meet the required specifications and qualifications set forth in a procurement solicitation. They may meet City of Independence needs more quickly, more economically, and with better, more competent service than non-local businesses that are not as familiar with Independence.

To provide the best value for the citizens’ tax dollars, purchases are made from vendors that offer the lowest price, meet all minimum bid requirements, and provide the lowest shipping and delivery costs. Buying local may equal faster delivery, faster service, and local follow-up, allowing local businesses to provide a cost effective transaction.

What are the advantages of local preferences?

Based on current research, there are two possible advantages:

First, there is the possibility that the extra cost associated with the preference is outweighed by the need to support local businesses, and that the City’s commitment to the local business community will be repaid by the businesses commitment to the citizens and the City.

Second, there is a theory that spending money locally reaps benefits to the City in tax-base maintenance or tax-receipt growth, because a portion of the dollars spent locally are recycled locally. That is, a local business receiving a payment from the City will probably spend a portion of its profits with other local businesses and will pay its local employees who then shop in the local community, and so on.

How does Purchasing communicate with the local business community?

The City of Independence Purchasing Division has developed several proactive means to aid local vendors. Bids and proposals issued by the Purchasing Division are posted at City Hall, posted on the Internet via Public Purchase.com, and posted on social media websites. Public improvements are advertised in the local newspaper and all solicitations are always available by request in the Purchasing office. An online vendor database is maintained, there are meetings to explain City processes, local trade shows in conjunction with the City and other local jurisdictions, and participation in community events to be familiar with the goods and services available.

The City’s overall commitment to the local business community remains a cornerstone of purchasing and procurement policy and will continue to be implemented in the context of competition to guarantee the best, most cost-effective value for the citizens and taxpayers.

The City's preference policies:

City Code regarding preferences must be followed when purchasing manufactured goods or commodities, as well as when entering into any contract that exceeds $500,000 and involves labor.

Preference is given to vendors whose products are manufactured in the United States, unless the products are not available in sufficient quantities to meet the City's requirements or cannot be made available within the necessary time in sufficient quantities to meet the City's requirements; or obtaining the specified products would increase the cost by more than ten percent (10%).

Preference is given for products made or grown in Missouri when they are found in sufficient quantities, are of a quality suited to the purpose intended, and can be secured without additional cost over products of other states.

When entering into any contract which exceeds $500,000.00 involving labor or hiring any labor for public contract work, preference may be given to contractors who have resided in Jackson County, Missouri, for a period of six months preceding the start of the contract.

A contract or purchase may be awarded to a bidder using local labor where the bid by such bidder is, in all material respects, comparable to the lowest responsible bid not using local labor if the amount bid (labor, materials, and other services) by such bidder does not exceed the lowest bid not using local labor by more than the following percentages, unless such an award is contrary to State or Federal law or regulation, or unless the Council, at its discretion, determines prior to giving notice soliciting bids that the provisions of this section shall not apply to the contract or purchases:

  • $0 to $500,000 – No preference
  • $500,000 to $1,000,000 – Five percent (5%) on the first $500,000 and no adjustment for the amount between $500,000 and $1,000,000
  • $1,000,000 and Greater – Five percent (5%) higher on the first $500,000 and two and one-half percent (2.5%) on the amount between $500,000.00 and $1,000,000

No additional adjustment for amounts in excess of $1,000,000

The amount of any preference awarded will be based on the maximum preference awarded for size of the contract multiplied by the percentage of local labor, compared to the total labor for the work.

Contractors shall meet qualification standards set forth by the City prior to acceptance of any bid. To be determined qualified, the contractor must provide or participate in each of the following for the benefit of its employees and in addition, the contractor will certify that all subcontractors under their control will comply with the following:

  1. An ERISA-qualified medical welfare benefit plan or health insurance in some form
  2. A training program approved by and registered with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training or equivalent
  3. A ERISA-qualified pension plan or a retirement benefit program.
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