City revises 'hire El Paso first' ordinance


Groups businesses into tiers, gives preferential treatment to businesses with headquarters in El Paso

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - 11:47am

The Sun City puts local businesses first. That’s a promise El Paso City Council is making -- and now they're backing it up -- putting their money where their mouth is.

The Del Fin family prepares a colorful floral arrangement on Wednesday for Mayor Oscar Leeser's banquet, a rose, which like any other except this one is local. "Buy local and keep the city growing,” Rafael del fin, of Heaven Sent Florist told us. A revision to the city's Hire El Paso first ordinance will help keep the spirit of 'buying local' alive.

"It's going to be beneficial to everyone. It's going to help boost the city's economy and keep money in El Pasoan's hand instead of going off to big corporations and making them bigger,” del Fin explained. Businesses like Heaven Sent Florist -- locally owned and headquartered in the Sun City, will get a first shot at city contracts.

So will Eddie Anaya's 'homegrown' carpet cleaning company which he runs from his Northeast El Paso home. "I believe that if you spend a dollar here about 75-cents stays here,” Eddie Anaya, the owner of Eddie Anaya’s Carpet Cleaning said.

The ordinance has been around for 3 years, the revision defines what a local business is, "In this revision kind of strengthens it, clarified it and added some teeth to it,” Bruce D. Collins, the Director of the Purchasing and Strategic Sourcing for the City of El Paso explained.

Now, you have to be headquartered in El Paso not just do business here. "A greater incentive to actually expand their business and/or to move into El Paso."

City Rep. Carl Robinson was the only councilmember to vote no -- but not because he doesn't support the ordinance. "I felt that we could have gone a bit further and require the businesses that get contracts with the City of El Paso to hire veterans,” Robinson, who represents District 4 said.

But the ordinance passed. Businesses like Heaven Sent think the ordinance is just that -- an economic boost that will help them thrive.

So far 40 businesses have registered with the city, officials told us. The preferential bid applies to contracts valuing $50,000 or more. You will need to register with the city to be considered for a bid.



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