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‘Tis the season to shop in Santa Clarita

Posted: December 13, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 13, 2013 2:00 a.m.

On Nov. 30, Americans came together in support of their communities to celebrate Small Business Saturday.

In Santa Clarita, we know that each day presents an opportunity to shop local. This is especially true as we mark off holiday wish lists — from the latest fashions, gifts and toys at the Westfield Valencia Town Center and Main Street in Old Town Newhall, to a gleaming new or used car at the Valencia Auto Center (and everything in between).

The city of Santa Clarita has long upheld the belief that “what’s good for business is good for Santa Clarita.”

This important mission is put to work constantly in the city’s policies, initiatives, bid processes and more. We know that local retailers, service providers and professionals are an important part of creating a sustainable and thriving economy.

Small businesses have a big impact on our nation’s bottom line. Over the past two decades, small and new businesses created two out of every three new jobs in the United States.

Today, more than half of all working Americans own or work for a small businesses, according to the United State Department of Labor, making these companies the backbone of our neighborhoods and our nation.

The city of Santa Clarita makes a point to shop locally. Our city purchases local goods and services thousands of times each year — from graphics services and signage to city vehicles and office supplies.

The city also employs a “shop local” ordinance for its bid process, giving Santa Clarita vendors the opportunity to match the lowest bid if its own offer is within 10 percent of a bid made by a non-city-based business.

This applies to all city bids, aside from federally governed capital improvement projects.

Additionally, all bids valued at more than $20,000 are advertised in the local newspaper and are also provided to the Chamber of Commerce and the Valley Industry Association, ensuring that city of Santa Clarita-based businesses are aware of and able to participate in open city bids.

The city recently streamlined its purchasing process with the launch of PlanetBids — an automated, paperless,

Web-based system that allows easy access and response to bids, quotes and proposals.

Businesses can use this service to submit bids electronically, receive automatic email notifications for bid opportunities that match their product or service category, and search for bid results, requests, contract awards and more.

Since the city began using PlanetBids in March 2012, nearly $11 million have been awarded to local vendors as part of the bid process, with local businesses accounting for nearly 35 percent of the total bids awarded.

Within the last year, the city also purchased 11 vehicles from local auto dealers for an impact of nearly $278,000, and spent approximately $289,000 locally for other goods and services.

These purchases and processes help ensure that Santa Clarita shops locally whenever possible while also providing local businesses with the opportunity to do business with the city.

I want to encourage Santa Clarita residents to consider shopping at their local small businesses. Why? Because dollars spent in locally owned stores have three times the impact on the local economy.

When shopping locally, we actively help create jobs, invest in the health of local neighborhoods, fund important city services and create a brighter holiday season for friends and neighbors.

For every dollar spent locally, the city receives one cent of sales tax, which goes a long way to ensure that residents continue to enjoy the same quality services, facilities and programs that make life in Santa Clarita so great.

Local sales tax translates into investments and improvements that can be seen right outside our front doors, including public safety, parks and recreation, well-maintained roads and safe and modern infrastructure.

Best of all, supporting Santa Clarita businesses of all sizes energizes our community and ensures our city’s economic vitality.

For questions about doing business with the city of Santa Clarita, please contact the Purchasing Division at (661) 286-4193 or visit

Have a safe and happy holiday season!

Mayor Laurene Weste is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at



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