Last Updated on September 23, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes
Title: Cuyahoga County Faces Challenges as Businesses Express Reluctance to Contract
In recent years, an increasing number of businesses in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, have chosen not to contract with the county due to a variety of reasons, ranging from complexities in working with the county to concerns about payment issues and favoritism. These challenges have brought into question whether the benefits of county contracts outweigh the time and effort required.
Several businesses have highlighted specialized goods or services, supply chain shortages, and the complexity of working with the county as key reasons for their decision not to enter into contracts. Moreover, these businesses have expressed frustration over the county’s request for proposals (RFPs) often going unanswered. Reasons for this lack of response vary from businesses not viewing the requests to feeling they do not have sufficient time to adequately respond.
Adding to the frustration is the unreliability of the system that notifies businesses of available work. Despite registering for notifications, many businesses have reported receiving inconsistent information, leading to missed opportunities. These setbacks have further fueled skepticism among businesses.
To address these concerns and encourage more businesses to contract with the county, Cuyahoga County officials have taken initiatives to streamline and improve the contracting process. As part of these efforts, the county has been reaching out to potential vendors, hosting educational events, and actively supporting the certification of small, minority, and women-owned businesses.
Despite the county’s efforts to facilitate the process, businesses remain skeptical of the certification process and yearn for increased job opportunities resulting from contracting with the county. Steps are being taken to address these concerns by ensuring more timely payments to contractors and employing a comprehensive evaluation framework that goes beyond merely considering price during RFPs or requests for qualifications.
Nonetheless, businesses still question whether the advantages of contracting with the county outweigh the time and effort required. Many are calling for the county to prioritize enhancing the efficiency and transparency of the contracting process to encourage participation from a wider array of businesses.
As Cuyahoga County continues to adapt and refine its contracting procedures, the business community eagerly awaits positive changes that will make the process more attractive. This ongoing dialogue between the county and local businesses remains crucial in promoting a thriving economic environment in the region.