Lake Forest puts off a decision on adopting local business preference ordinance

The new sitting Lake Forest City Council has agreed to delay making a decision on whether to finalize an ordinance which would have given an edge to local businesses on getting city contracts.

City Senior Communications and Marketing Analyst Jonathan Volzke says the ordinance would have given a five percent advantage in price for local companies with a physical presence in the city, not a Post Office address, that would bid on city contracts for materials, supplies and equipment.

He says the Council has requested more research before making its decision. It has asked city staff to reach out to the Chamber of Commerce and look at what other cities are doing in regards to an ordinance of this kind. He says the concern is if Lake Forest gave local businesses a five percent advantage in bidding, it may put neighboring cities in the position of feeling forced to do the same thing. And that could end up hurting Lake Forest’s businesses because the neighboring cities would hold the ordinance against them.

Volzke says the Council did like the ordinance in concept because it would benefit local businesses and therefore the city’s economy. But it wanted to make sure any action it took on the ordinance would benefit all businesses.


Dawn Kamber