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Posted October 20, 2016 | 2:12 PM

How To Do Business with Hillsborough County

County wants to expand vendor list

Hillsborough County offers enormous opportunities for qualifying businesses to provide services and goods - from maintaining and repairing fire extinguishers, to cleaning carpets, supplying security, and building large facilities, to name just a few examples.

The County already has more than 5,000 eligible vendors in Hillsborough and elsewhere in Florida. But it wants more - especially roofers, and electricians, masons, plumbers, pavers and drywall installers. The larger the list, the greater the chance taxpayers will get an even better deal.

The first step for businesses is to register with the County through the supplier portal.

Here are seven things to know about doing business with the County:


  1. Hillsborough County Procurement Services offers vendor training every second Tuesday of the month at the Entrepreneur Collaborative Center, 2101 E. Palm Ave, Tampa, 33605. During the two-hour session, business representatives will learn how to register and use iSupplier.

  2. Isupplier is a valuable tool for businesses because the program is used to email bid opportunities, download the proper documents, and submit bids. In addition, vendors and suppliers track receipts, invoices and payments on iSupplier.

  3. When it comes to selecting the commodity codes in the system, businesses shouldn't limit themselves. The codes are critical in the process. For instance, if you're in the roofing business, think about all the items required for that work - such as shingles - and make sure you include any separate codes that are applicable.

  4. The lowest bid is usually accepted.

  5. While the County doesn't have a local-preference ordinance, the Hillsborough County Disadvantaged Minority/Disadvantaged Women (DM/DWBE) and Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Encouragement Programs are designed to provide special opportunities to small businesses, and businesses owned by minorities and women within County procurements.

  6. Capital construction projects valued at less than $500,000 may be set aside for bidding by SBE-qualifying firms, and various consulting service contracts also may be set aside for registered SBEs, to name a couple of benefits of the program.

  7. Diversity is important to the County. Businesses that want to apply for DM/DWBE Certification and SBE Registration can do so here.

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