As the capital and most populous city in Georgia, Atlanta is home to more than 400,000 residents. The city’s metropolitan area represents the 8th largest economy in the United States and the 17th largest in the world, raking in $304 billion. Considered an Alpha World City by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, Atlanta is an important contributor to the global economy. In this article we’ll see how local vendors can find and bid on contracts with the city of Atlanta.
Doing Business with the City of Atlanta
Vendors interested in doing business with Atlanta must first register with the city’s iSupplier system by completing the online supplier registration form and submitting a W-9 tax form. Processing and approval time of a registration usually takes around five business days and, once approved, vendors will receive an email with details about how to access and update information in the iSupplier database.
For vendors that have multiple business divisions that operate as separate entities – for example, that use different accounts receivable mailing addresses - each division must submit a separate vendor application in order to be eligible to bid on city contracts.
Vendors can find city solicitations for goods and services in the form of ITBs or RFPs posted on the city of Atlanta website, as well as on the Georgia Procurement Registry. However, not all bids are advertised: departments looking to acquire goods and services for one-time orders valued at $20,000 or less are not required to use a formal purchasing process and are encouraged to contact qualified vendors directly.
Contracts valued at less than $100,000 annually are awarded by the Chief Procurement Officer, while any contracts worth more than $100,000 must be approved by the Atlanta City Council before a solicitation can be issued.
(Source: n.p. City of Atlanta. Department of Procurement. Supplier Registration. n.d. web. 1 Dec. 2016)
Atlanta Local Bidder Preference Program
The city of Atlanta is dedicated to helping local businesses grow and the creation of business opportunities that lead to increased employment through the Atlanta Local Bidder Preference program. Vendors who own and operate a business based in any of the 21 eligible counties (Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Cherokee, City of Atlanta, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Newton, Paulding, Pickens, Rockdale, Spalding, Walton) are eligible to bid on special city contracts, referred to as “Eligible Local Projects”, in the form of an Invitation to Bid only.
Vendors interested in participating in the Local Bidder Preference Program must first be certified by the city. LBPP applications must be completed and returned to the city’s Department of Procurement 30 days prior to the bid due date for bids that a vendor is interested in submitting a proposal for. If the application arrives less than 30 days before the bid due date, the proposal will not be considered for local preference.
(Source: n.p. City of Atlanta. Department of Procurement. Local Bidder Preference Program. n.d. web. 1 Dec. 2016)
Take Advantage of what Atlanta has to Offer
For businesses that are certified as a small business or MWBE, it can sometimes be difficult to find contracts to bid on due to limited resources. This is why it’s important to take advantage of programs such as Atlanta’s Local Bidder Preference. The program is designed to help these types of businesses find contracts suitable for their business and guide vendors through the bidding process, while making sure they have a fair shot at winning a government contract. Businesses both big and small should find out what the Local Bidder Preference program can offer them, no matter what sector they operate in.
Danielle Calamaras | BidNet.com