Tribe Gives Preference Boost to Mohawk Businesses
The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe has put in place an expanded Native American Preference Policy for the benefit of Native American/Alaska Native-owned businesses and companies. Tribal Council Resolution 2016-82 rescinds a 2007 resolution (TCR 2007-36) that uniformly implemented a 10-percent preferential procurement advantage to Mohawk vendors. In its place, an updated tribal procurement policy is being implemented based on the size of the transaction.
According to the Tribe’s Executive Director Tsiorasa Barreiro, “The new direction expands our preference percentages, especially for the lower-dollar value thresholds that represent the majority of our tribal procurement transactions. The competitive edge that Mohawk-owned businesses have enjoyed are now being expanded for all purchases under $50,000 — enabling local businesses to be more competitive.”
The previous flat rate that provided a 10-percent preferential advantage to only Mohawk-owned businesses is being replaced with a sliding scale that now allows for a 13-percent advantage for purchases under $10,000 from any Native American/Alaska Native vendor, consultant or service supplier; a 12-percent advantage for purchases between $10,001 and $25,000; and an 11-percent advantage for purchases between $25,001 and $50,000 (see Figure #1). The new sliding scale does not apply to construction contracts, but does give preference to Native-owned construction companies.
“This change in policy recognizes the need for reducing economic leakage and aligns well with our ‘Buy Local’ priorities,” said Economic Development Director Christopher Thompson. He added, “Native businesses face adversity when it comes to securing capitol and this policy change evens the playing field to compete with firms who do not face these issues. We are creating the environment for local businesses to compete, which keeps dollars and jobs in the community."
In addition to increasing the Native advantage for all tribal purchases under $50,000; the new resolution ensures the Native American Preference for procurements with vendors, consultants and service providers and construction contracts are contained within one document. Tribal staff and interested Native vendors can now easily locate this information, as both the procurement sliding scale and the construction criteria are attached to TCR 2016-82.
The purchase of all goods, supplies and services from Native vendors must now follow the new sliding scale however, the selection process for construction contracts shall be awarded to the lowest responsive bid from a qualified Native-owned company, or if the proposal is within the maximum amount allowable for Native preference (see Figure #2). The selection process also includes other criteria; such as experience, warranties, references and technical expertise; as price is just one consideration when determining the overall value of a Native contractor’s bid.
Executive Director Barreiro added, “With every policy decision there must be a balance of interests. In this case, it is a balance between stretching our limited resources and supporting our local Native vendors. We feel that this new policy does just that.”
Vendors who may have questions about the new Native American preference policy may contact the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Grants and Contracts Office or Procurement Office at (518) 358-2272.