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Howard County Local Business Initiative

The local business initiative promotes the growth and success of local businesses and increases the percentage of county procurement dollars flowing to local businesses.

An executive order was signed by the Howard County Executive on November 4, 2015 creating the Local Business Initiative. The action was to give a “fair chance” to local businesses that want to bid and participate in government projects. Recognizing that local businesses are a pivotal driver in the Howard County economy, the Howard County Government wanted to make sure that whenever possible, Howard County Government procurement dollars should be spent to support them.

What is a “Local Business?”

A local business is defined as an applicant that maintains its principle place of business in Howard County. If your business meets this eligibility criterion, you should certify with Howard County as a local business.

What are the benefits?

  • Howard County Departments and agencies are encouraged to select from local businesses when purchasing goods or services that are under $10,000.
  • The Howard County Office of Purchasing will notify certified businesses of solicitations for goods or services valued at $10,000 or more as the office deems appropriate
  • Recipients of Howard County grants are encouraged to spent those grant funds with certified local businesses when purchasing goods or services
  • Solicitations conducted under the formal competitive sealed proposals procurement method may contain an evaluation factor for local businesses, when appropriate, based on the goods or services being procured, as the office determines.
  • Certain low bid awards for non-capital projects will be awarded to a local business if there is a tie for lowest bid with a non-local business.

How do you register your business?

Click here to complete a brief certification application.

For more information contact the Howard County Office of Purchasing by email at [email protected].


The Local Business Initiative has been extremely valuable in enabling us to provide products to the county.  It has helped us grow.Lisa Bernard, President of Inband Networks