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It’sAll About Local

Incentives for Mount Pleasant Businesses


he town of Mount Pleasant

is launching one program and

revitalizing another, both aimed at

helping local businesses grow, expand

and thrive along with the town.

The Town Proud Program, to be

officially kicked off during Business

Appreciation Week, Sept. 19 through Sept. 23, will

encourage consumers to do business

with local companies.

Meanwhile, the Local Vendor Partnership Program, first

passed into law in 1997, is getting a facelift and additional

publicity, encouraging local businesses to provide their

products and services to the town.

“We’re taking a comprehensive approach of supporting

our local businesses,” said Mount Pleasant Business

Development Officer Amy

Livingston. “We see both these

programs as complementary

pieces of the puzzle.”

The Local Vendor

Partnership Program,

established by legislation

written by Councilman Gary

Santos, has been somewhat

dormant for nearly two decades.

Not all that many people knew

about it, something Santos

hopes to change.

“It’s the best-kept secret in town,” he commented. “We’re

never going to have a Boeing here, but we have lots of local

businesses. I’m hoping they start utilizing this program.”

Some of the items the town buys include office supplies;

parts for vehicles; printing; contractual services such as

graphic design; and “a range of products and services that a

town requires to stay up and going,” according to Livingston.

“We’re pushing this program because it’s a win-win for the

business community and the town of Mount Pleasant,” she

said. “We’re always looking to find the best quality product.

Our robust business community is very capable of doing

that. It’s a win for the business community because, frankly,

the town is a very large customer.”

Santos, a councilman from 1996 to 2009 who was elected

By Brian Sherman

again in 2013, explained that bids submitted by approved

vendors are evaluated as if their prices were either 5 percent

lower for contracts under $10,000; 2 percent lower for

contracts between $10,000 and $50,000; and 1 percent lower

for contracts worth more than $50,000, not to exceed a total

reduction of $2,000.

He said the program applies to products, goods and non-

professional services, adding that after local reductions are

considered, if a non-local company is still the low bidder, the

work goes to the non-local business.

To be eligible for the program, a business must have a

principal place of business within the town limits, have a

current Mount Pleasant business license and “agree to allow

the town to audit the applicant’s records relating to the town’s

purchases to ensure the town is receiving the best products

or services for the best price.” Businesses that are a part of a

chain cannot take advantage of

the program. Local businesses

must fill out an application to be

eligible to participate.

Santos said a trip to a

Mount Pleasant business

provided the impetus for

him to write the law that

established the program. A local

businessman who was repairing

Santos’ lawnmower pointed

out that the town was giving

similar work to a company in

Hollywood. Santos looked into the situation, and, shortly

thereafter, wrote the legislation.

“Amy can use this law as a business development tool

to recruit companies to come to Mount Pleasant,” Santos

said. “When we hired her in September, she took it and

ran with it.”

To apply for the Local Vendor Partnership Program, visit

. The completed application

should be submitted to the town’s Purchasing Division,

along with a short list of products or services provided by

your business. It can be submitted by email to rgriles@

or in person or by mail at 100 Ann Edwards

Lane, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29464.

amy Livingston and Gary Santos

MP Business




Photo by Rick Walo.

Photo by Brian Sherman.