Local vendors can sell to RCC

Published 4:24 am Wednesday, July 26, 2017

During the past legislative session, State Sen. Beth Mizell, R-Franklinton, authored a bill that will allow Washington Parish businesses to participate as vendors at Rayburn Correctional Center in Angie.

Mizell’s bill, S.B. 163, passed the legislature and was signed into law as Act 248 by Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Mizell said that previously local businesses were at a disadvantage for RCC contracts, because there was a procurement process at the state level that “protected those large players in that vendor process.”

However, Mizell said that she spoke with directors in the State Procurement Office, and learned that local businesses can participate through the Hudson Initiative and the Veteran Initiative of the Louisiana Economic Development Office.

“The effort now is to let this opportunity become an economic benefit to the businesses locally, and in so doing, a benefit to the economy of Washington Parish,” Mizell said.

Mizell said that the Hudson Initiative was designed to offer Louisiana-based small businesses more access to contracting and procurement of goods and services with state agencies. The Veteran Initiative offers similar access to Louisiana’s veteran-owned and service-connected disabled veteran-owned small businesses.

Benefits of these initiatives include the following:

  • Ten percent of the total evaluation points can be added to a certified Small Entrepreneurship’s bid on a Request for Proposal (RFP).
  • Prime contractors who use certified Small Entrepreneurships as a subcontractor on a bid for an RFP are also eligible to receive additional percentage points on their bid.
  • Business and contact information will be accessible to state purchasing officials and prime contractors looking for subcontractors.
  • State agencies are encouraged to get quotes from and use qualified, certified companies whenever possible.
  • For small purchases of less than $15,000, state agencies can waive the requirement of getting additional quotes if a certified company submits a quote that is reasonable.

Businesses eligible for the Hudson or Veteran Initiatives must meet certain requirements. They must have Louisiana as their principal place of business, must have fewer than 50 full-time employees and less than $5 million annual gross receipts ($10 million or less for construction companies). Businesses must be independently owned and dominated, “not dominant” in their professional field, owned by residents of Louisiana, and owned by U.S. citizens. In addition, to be eligible for the Veteran Initiative, at least 51 percent of the business must be owned by a veteran or a service-connected disabled veteran.

For more information about these initiatives or about Act 248, call Mizell’s office at 985-839-3936 or email her at mizellb@legis.la.gov.