By Josh Baugh, San Antonio Express-News Staff Writer
Beginning in May, local businesses will get preferential treatment in some city contracts that use low bids — meaning that bids could be as much as 3 percent higher than a non-local offer and still win.
The City Council approved a “local preference program” Thursday. State law adopted in 2011 by the Texas Legislature makes the new ordinance possible.
Mayor Julián Castro believes the proposal will help bolster the local economy, and said the city must ensure local businesses know of the effort.
“We ought to articulate this out there and message it in the community,” he said.
Companies are considered local bidders if they either are headquartered within San Antonio’s city limits or meet several other conditions, including having at least 100 employees working in the Alamo City, or 20 percent of their workforce for smaller businesses. They also must have been in the city for at least a year.