Local Bids

Local First recently met with the City of Durango to learn more about how the bidding process at the city works, how our members could take advantage of the 5% local preference policy, and how to make it easier for businesses to enter and win more local bids. Keep reading below to learn more!

Current Bidding Process

Tangible/ hard cost goods (such as consumables and construction)

Under $1,000


The city employee is allowed to buy whatever they need. Does not require a formal bid.



Minimum specifications are required and at least 2-3 bids are needed before choosing a vendor. 



The city has to have written specifications for a product (size, performance, etc.) that are given to vendors. 

Over $50,000


A formal bidding process is required for tangible/hard cost goods costing over $50,000. 

The city can also piggyback off of state and federal rates for supplies, which is often the case with office supplies. Curious about what the city is currently paying for certain goods? You can contact April Zion, City Grants/Contract Manager to find out.

Services (architecture, engineering, etc.)

Flexibility to get a Request for Proposal (RFP).

Services are evaluated on schedule, personnel, expertise, and approach (not just on cost).

Local Preferencing Policy

This is where a local bidder gets a 5 point preference, up to $100,000. In the past, the city has had trouble implementing local preference. However, the city has been working to train staff and departments better, improving RFP descriptions, and working with local groups to improve the use of the local preference policy.The city cannot use the local preference when state or federal funding is being used but CAN use preference for minority-owned and women-owned businesses, also known as Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE). If you think you might qualify as a DBE  you can learn more about getting certified here. 

How does the city define “local”?

Defined by the county

5% preference is given up to 100k within the city boundary

Regional preference (3%) is defined by Region 9

How Your Business can Win Bids

  1. Designate a staff person responsible for the bid process. Identifying a person responsible will not only help you internally keep track of how often you are applying for bids, it will also help the city keep in contact with the right person for procurement.
  2. Get on the city’s call list. You can contact the city to get on their contact list for smaller bids that don’t require a formal RFP. You can also get on their list for trade bids (hourly rate) which are put on a call list. Contact April Zion, the city grants/contract manager for more information. 
  3. Use the online portal. The portal is where you can learn about all the possible bids that are available. A subscription cost $100 to get email updates on bid types you would be interested in. 
  4. Know your code: The NIGP code is a coding system used to classify products and services procured by state and local governments. Learn your code to use the online portal better and know what type of bids you are looking for. You can find out your code here
  5. Use the city: The city keeps a list of all possible bids at durangogov.org/bids but many purchases are made for smaller bids that are not listed. Use the city as a resource to learn more about bids that your business might be ideal for. 

Want more tips and tricks on winning bids for your local business? Check out this awesome article.