Thursday, February 2, 2012
Terry pushes small businesses
By SUE WATSON
New supervisor Charles Terry, during a recent meeting, inquired whether the county board has a policy that would favor minority contractors in the bid process.
“Do supervisors have any type of minority participation in place?” Terry asked.
Board attorney Kent Smith said federal compliance laws go along with any projects paid for with federal funds – which require minority participation.
“Is any amount set aside for small minority businesses in Marshall County?” Terry asked. “I think it is important to support our small businesses to open and employ not just the minority. Could we set a certain portion to be awarded to minority vendors?”
County administrator Larry Hall indicated there had been a problem with cleaning supplies that had been purchased from a vendor, but the issue had been corrected.
Supervisor George Zinn III asked if the county board has any policies to hire minority contractors.
Hall said no, but the board tries to be fair. Some supplies had been purchased at Walmart, he said, that could be purchased elsewhere.
Supervisor Ronnie Joe Bennett agreed with Terry.
“We try to let everyone get some business,” he said.
Hall said dispensers require certain size rolls of paper and certain types of soap.
“We are spending taxpayers’ money and should spend as thrifty as we would our own,” Bennett said. “But we do not go buy from someone who will charge us more than we can get it at a cheaper price.”
Terry said small business owners would want to know if the county had a policy to buy from small business vendors, if they can beat or match the price of other vendors not operating out of the county.
“That’s actually what we do now,” Bennett said.
“Is it important to strengthen small business if we could justify spending a penny or two more than going to Walmart?” asked Zinn.
“Small business is what holds the United States together and they are paying the burden of the tax and the big ones are getting the tax breaks,” Bennett said.
“I agree with you and am just fulfilling my obligations to answer to my constituents and getting them listed as a vendor,” Terry said.
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