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Commission efforts to bring in new business

Video from WALB
Published: Apr. 11, 2022 at 8:44 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Dougherty County Commissioners are rethinking their bidding processes in order to open the door up for more businesses specifically, minority businesses.

Dougherty County Commissioners are looking at ways to get more minority businesses to bid for county work.

One idea is to limit the type of jobs that require mandatory pre-bidding. That’s a time for contractors to understand what type of work the project would require them to do, and if they’re capable of doing it.

Interim Assistant City Manager Yvette Fields said there’s a time and a place for mandatory pre-bids, but most purchases are not that complicated.

However, Commissioner Gloria Gaines said pre-bids are a good way for small businesses to connect with larger businesses to form partnerships, so they can ensure capable contractors have a shot at the project.

Gloria Gaines is the Dougherty County Commissioner for District 5.
Gloria Gaines is the Dougherty County Commissioner for District 5.(WALB)

“We have to find a way to include more minority contractors in the spending of the money we collect from the minority community,” said Gaines.

Fields said they’ve made every effort to include all minority contractors.

Yvette Fields is the City of Albany Interim Assistant City Manager
Yvette Fields is the City of Albany Interim Assistant City Manager(WALB)

“We direct advertise to them we have now recently started using Facebook to advertise to them out of whatever reason they haven’t responded,” said Fields.

Commissioner Victor Edwards said a mandatory pre-bid process often weeds out potential issues, like a low bidder who’s underqualified.

Victor Edwards is the  Dougherty County Commissioner for District 2
Victor Edwards is the Dougherty County Commissioner for District 2(WALB)

“If you’re serious about doing business it should be mandatory, I don’t care how minute it is,” said Edwards.

Fields said when they bid out jobs, they make every attempt to contact minority businesses.

“We call minority contractors, we call them repeatedly, but we only get one bid and it’s not from a minority contractor. I’m baffled if you could tell me how to get more people to respond,” said Fields.

She said they are doing everything they can think of to include all contractors, but they’re open to suggestions.

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