Spending money locally important for both public and private sectors

Published 8:00 am Friday, July 3, 2015

Now that it is time to build a new road access near Dowagiac Middle School, the administration of Dowagiac Union Schools solicited bids — like all government agencies are required to do in most cases.

The contract went to Northern Construction, the Niles-based firm that provided the lowest bid for the expansion of the roadway on Riverside Drive near the school. Although it would have been nice if a Dowagiac company had been able to perform the work, this is still a good outcome for all involved.

It should be an easy decision for private companies and organizations to think locally first when it comes to purchasing goods and services.

Why bring in a Kalamazoo business to do something that a Dowagiac one can do just as well?

Why have someone come from Indianapolis if a Buchanan firm can do the same work?

Although this may not be possible in every case, the list goes on and on.

It gets more complicated when publicly funded entities like school districts and local governments are involved because of the bidding process. These entities often have their hands somewhat tied when it comes to awarding bids, although the idea of using the lowest bidder is designed to ensure that taxpayers’ money is spent wise.

That makes is especially important that local businesses actually take the time to provide bids for goods and services and do everything in their power to provide the lowest possible estimate.

The more money we can keep right here in southwest Michigan and northern Indiana the better. Economic experts calculate that every dollar spent locally turns over at least seven times, paying the salaries of local residents, supporting other local businesses and going towards providing the government services of which we all take advantage.

That means doing everything possible to spend our money — public and private — right here at home is more important than ever


Opinions expressed are those of the editorial board consisting of Publisher Michael Caldwell and editors Ambrosia Neldon, Craig Haupert, Ted Yoakum and Scott Novak.