Lake County is launching a new "buy local" program to support Lake County businesses, and keep money in the local economy. While Lake County has always encouraged local purchasing, this is part of a broader initiative to improve relations with the business community and encourage local vendors to seek business with the county. Under the new plan, departments are required to obtain multiple quotes from local vendors and award contracts to Lake County businesses where possible, and as allowed under state law. Lake County projects potentially $16 million more being invested in the local economy, as a result of this renewed effort.
Lake County departments will seek out local vendors for purchases under the legal bid limit of $30,000, while also considering other factors such as price, quality, terms, and service delivery. Lake County will strive to ensure that local businesses have the opportunity to do business with the county, while also continuing to be good stewards of tax dollars and maintaining compliance with the law. Local governments are mandated by state law to purchase goods and services at the lowest cost.
County Board Chairman David Stolman said, "Local businesses are the backbone of our economy. By buying local, we can keep money circulating in our community. This boosts the local economy, and can help businesses grow, which can lead to more jobs."
Over the past several years, Lake County has conducted outreach, seminars, and training for local businesses in an effort to enhance opportunities for local vendors, and increase awareness about how to do business with Lake County.
Additionally, through the "Job Order Contracting" (JOC) program, Lake County increased its use of Lake County sub-contractors, reaching 71% since the program was implemented in 2009. Under the JOC program, sub-contractors perform a wide variety of renovation, repair and construction work, allowing for increased use of local businesses, as well as enhanced quality and cost-effectiveness.
Lake County will hold a series of workshops in September to provide information about the new "buy local" program. The schedule is as follows:
- Business and Government Day - Aug. 11, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., College of Lake County, Grayslake Campus
- Lake County Vendor Fair - Sep. 8, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Central Permit Facility, 500 W. Winchester Rd., Libertyville
- Job Order Contracting Breakfast - Sep. 20, 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., Central Permit Facility, 500 W. Winchester Rd., Libertyville
- Vendor Training Sessions - Sep. 20, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Central Permit Facility, 500 W. Winchester Rd., Libertyville
Businesses interested in learning more about opportunities with Lake County can visit www.lakecountyil.gov and click on "Doing Business" in the Quick Links. Businesses can also register to receive email notifications of bids, requests for proposal (RFP), and other solicitations.