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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many economic challenges, but the City of Philadelphia remains open for business. In the coming year, the City will continue to have contracting opportunities available for all businesses. And, to help local businesses in particular, we’ve created the Local Business Purchasing Initiative. The initiative will make it faster and easier to access opportunities with the City.

Contracting changes coming this summer

In November 2019, voters approved a Home Rule Charter change that raised the threshold when a formal Request for Proposals or bids is required from $34,000 to $75,000 for all businesses and from $34,000 to $100,000 for certified Local Business Entities (LBEs). This Charter change will go into effect on July 1, 2020.

Benefits of the new contracting process include:

  • Contracts under $75,000 will be more efficient and accessible. There will be less paperwork and faster finalized contracts.
  • Certain opportunities under $100,000 will only be open to LBEs. These opportunities will have reduced administrative requirements for businesses and will result in faster finalized contracts. To be considered for one of these opportunities, get certified as a Local Business Entity.

These changes are part of the larger Local Business Purchasing Initiative.

Local Business Purchasing Initiative goals

1) Reinvest locally.

We will encourage City departments to:

  • Work with locally owned businesses to take advantage of the easier contracting process. This increased outreach to the business community will grow the City’s registry of LBEs that departments solicit for these opportunities.
  • Solicit minority-, woman-, and disabled-owned businesses (M/W/DSBEs). M/W/DSBEs should register with the City’s database of M/W/DSBEs to be solicited for our opportunities.

2) Make contracting more efficient.

Increasing the threshold will allow City departments to do business more efficiently. More opportunities will soon be below the $75,000 threshold. Thus, departments will spend less time on each of our smaller dollar purchases. Local Business Entities that want to access contract opportunities under $100,000 will also save time. We have reduced the requirements for proposals and paperwork.

3) Improve access to opportunities.

This summer, the City will launch a new Contracts Hub on phila.gov. The new site will make it easier to search for opportunities that match your business and your capacity. It will be a central location to:

  • Search listings of opportunities.
  • Find relevant data about contracts.
  • Navigate the contracting process.

These contract opportunities are a great way to grow your business.

Learn about licenses, permits, taxes, incentives, and employment laws related to doing business in Philadelphia.