Ecker wants breaks for local businesses


The Howard County executive wants to give county businesses a break in bidding on government contracts.

County Executive Charles I. Ecker said yesterday that his administration is considering changing the county's procurement policy to give preference to local businesses.

"My feeling is that they pay taxes in the county and they should be given some preference on county contracts if it does not cost a lot of money," he said.

"It is just a feeling I have to do something to help Howard County people," the Republican executive said. "I drive around in cars from Rockville and Gaithersburg dealerships, when we have car dealers here who deserve the business."

Harry H. Bain, the county's purchasing officer, said the county's purchasing laws would have to be amended to establish preferment.

"I would have to see the specific proposal," Mr. Bain said. "But generally, I would not like to see a local preference. In other areas that have tried it, prices have been driven up."

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