Program Information

When does it apply?

Local Business Enterprise preference applies for:

  • Any procurement valued between $5,000 and $25,000*
  • Any City contract procured by competitive sealed bid or by Request for Proposal if the estimated contract value is over $25,000*

* LBE is not applicable if State or Federal guidelines prohibit or restrict local preferences of this kind.

What is considered local?

“Local” is based on the Columbia-Newberry Combined Statistical Area (CSA). The CSA is defined by the Office of Management & Budget and may be modified at any time. As of October, 2011, the following counties are considered “local”:

  • Calhoun
  • Fairfield
  • Kershaw
  • Lexington
  • Newberry
  • Orangeburg
  • Richland
  • Saluda

My businesses is located in one of the local counties. How do I make sure it is considered a Local Business Enterprise?

A company must be certified PRIOR to bid openings. A business is NOT considered an LBE unless it has been certified by the LBE Compliance Team. You will need to follow the steps below to become certified.

How does my business qualify for the program?

  1. Fill out the Qualification Statement. This form will need to be notarized. Qualifying companies must meet all of the following to qualify:
    • Be independently owned and operated: Ownership of a local business must be directly independent provided that the interest is controlled by the local firm.
    • Be In good standing with State of South Carolina: Any LBE must be in good standing with the State of South Carolina regarding its payments of taxes and required business licenses.
    • Have a business license: Local business license within any of the 7 CSA jurisdictions. (See What is considered “local”?)
    • Have operated for at least one year within the 7 “local” counties: Local business must have presence within any of the 7 CSA jurisdictions for at least one year prior to applying for LBE Certification issued by the City of Columbia. (See What is considered “local”?)
    • Have 50% of employees residing within any of the 7 CSA jurisdictions: The applicant will need to attach a list of all owner/employee addresses (Street address, City, State & Zip) and submit with the Qualification Statement. Names are optional. This applies to full-time, part-time and contract employees.
  2. Submit the notarized Qualification Statement to the LBE Compliance team.
  3. Qualifications will be researched and verified by the LBE Compliance Team.

How long does my certification last?

Certification is valid for a period of 4 years from issue date. Thirty (30) days prior to expiration, you may submit documentation to re-qualify as an LBE.

I have more questions that are not answered here.

Contact the Compliance Team at 1136 Washington Street, Suite 503, Columbia, SC 29201 or phone (803) 545-4185.