Program For Local Small Businesses Opens

The application period opened Thursday for a program that will give preferential treatment to San Diego-based small businesses when bidding on city contracts, Mayor Jerry Sanders announced.

Once the Small Local Business Enterprise Program takes effect on July 1, area businesses that have annual sales under a certain dollar threshold will get up to a 5 percent discount when bidding on city contracts under $1 million.

Sanders said the program is intended to expand contracting opportunities to local companies.

"Because of the tough economy, we have seen a significant increase in the number of bidders and an increasing number of out-of-town bidders," Sanders said. "This program will help level the playing field for our small local businesses."

Participants in the program must first be certified as being locally based or an emerging business through the city's Equal Opportunity Contracting Program.

The applications are available on the city's Web site at www.sandiego.gov.

A workshop will be held on April 8 at the Balboa Park Club where business operators can learn more about the program, which the City Council unanimously approved in January.