The ordinance allows the city to give preference to Indiana businesses when awarding contracts. The ordinance was co-sponsored by Councilwoman Karen Goldner and Councilman Tom Didier.
The bill allows the city to award a contract to an Indiana business even if it is not the lowest bidder. For example, if the lowest bidder was an out-of-state business and the Indiana business had a bid within five percent of the winning out-of-state bidder, the city could award the contract to the Indiana business.
Councilman Mitch Harper voted against the ordinance in committee. He says the ordinance will have a negative impact on businesses in neighboring states and cities who often invest a great deal of money in Fort Wayne. Harper cited Van Wert as an example. Under the ordinance, a business in southern Indiana would get preference over a business in Van Wert. Harper believes that will damage the local economy.
The bill was passed in committee with an amendment that allows for a two-year sunset. To find more information on how to get a business certified as an Indiana business, visit the city's website at www.cityoffortwayne.org. Click on "Finance and Administration," then "Purchasing." On the next page click on "Register as Buy-Indiana" for information on how to register with the state.