(Maryland Gazette) — Prince George’s council members are calling for county-based companies to receive preferential treatment when they seek government contracts. County Bill 17, known as the Jobs First Act, would require the county government to weigh in favor of county-based and minority-owned businesses when taking bids for new equipment, supplies, construction or services. The bill calls for the county to award 50 percent of all contracts to county-based businesses, which last fiscal year would have equated to $149 million. Since the 2008 fiscal year, about 12 percent of Prince George’s $1.3 billion in procurement spending has gone to county businesses. Any company that gets county funding for a new shopping center, office park or community must agree to a 51 percent hiring goal for residents as workers under the bill, which also sets hiring and contracting goals for minority-owned and small business firms.
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