FORSYTH COUNTY — The Forsyth County commission has decided to extend — and raise — the Local Business Initiative for 2015.
Put in place in 2009, the initiative is intended to give Forsyth-based businesses preference in bids for county government projects.
In the 5-0 vote at a recent meeting, project costs eligible for the initiative were increased from $500,000 to $1 million.
Also, “If the local vender was say up to 5 percent higher in cost for the item, we would award to the local vendor,” said Donna Kukarola, the county’s procurement director.
According to county figures, local businesses responded to 62 transactions last year, though just four awards were affected by the initiative for a cost of $4,685.16.
The initiative must be updated annually. If not extended, it will expire at year’s end.
Though the effort is intended to keep money local, certain projects don’t qualify per state law.
“Public works, roads and anything to do with a grant we can’t use the local initiative,” Kukarola explained.
Also last week, the commission approved an amendment that local businesses only have to fill out an affidavit once a year to apply for the initiative instead of each time they apply. In addition, the businesses are required to notify the county if they move out of Forsyth.