Office of Business Opportunity

Hire Houston First (HHF)

 

Mayor Annise Parker developed Hire Houston First in an effort to promote economic opportunity for Houston businesses and to support job creation. The City of Houston spends billions of dollars to maintain and improve the City’s infrastructure, and provide services for the public. Hire Houston First grants the City the ability to give preference to local companies and local workers, as long as their pricing is competitive.


The Office of Business Opportunity (OBO) is the administrator of the Hire Houston First program. It is the policy of the City of Houston as defined in the Hire Houston First Ordinance Chapter 15, Article XI, to use the City’s spending powers in a manner that promotes fiscal responsibility and maximizes the effectiveness of local tax dollars by ensuring City spending provides business opportunity to city and local businesses as a measure to support the local economy.

 

 

Hire Houston First Program Criteria for Awards
  Purchases of Personal Property (Goods)
  • If contract value is $100,000 or greater, then contract is awarded to city business that is within 3% of lowest bid received by the city from a bidder who is not a city business.
  • If contract value is under $100,000, then contract is awarded to city business that is within 5% of lowest bid received by the city from a bidder who is not a city business.
  Purchases of Services *
  • If contract value is $100,000 or greater, then contract is awarded to local business that is within 3% of the lowest bid.
  • If contract value is under $100,000, then contract is awarded to local business that is within 5% of the lowest bid.
  Purchases Under $50,000
  • Chapter 15, Article XI, also permits the city, when procuring goods or services valued at less than $50,000.00 that are not the subject of a blanket purchase order or contract, the city shall, subject to the requirements of Section 15-181, select vendors and services providers with a principal place of business in the local area, provided that any such vendor's bid is no more than 5% greater than the lowest bid, in the event the lowest bid is from one other than a city business or a local business.

 

 

* In procuring architectural, engineering or land surveying services under the Professional Services Procurement Act, Tex. Gov't C ode, § 2254.004, the applicable city department shall, when appropriate, consider knowledge of local conditions as part of the qualifications determination in addition to HHF status.

 

 

Chapter 15, Article XI of the City of Houston Code or Ordinances.

Businesses interested in becoming eligible to participate in the Hire Houston First program must complete the Hire Houston First Application and Affidavit. Only businesses that meet the requirements, as defined below, will be eligible to participate in the Hire Houston First program.


Definitions:

 

  • City Business means a business with a principal place of business within city limits.
  • Local Areameans the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown metropolitan statistical area, as defined by the Office of Management and Budget within the Executive Office of the President of the United States and includes the counties of Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Brazoria, Galveston, Chambers, Waller, Liberty, Austin, and San Jacinto.
  • Local Business means a business with a principal place of business in the local area. 
  • Principal place of businessmeans the business must be either: (1) headquartered in the incorporated limits of the city or the local area, as applicable; or (2) have an established place or places of business in the incorporated limits of the city or the local area from which 20% or more of the entity’s workforce are regularly based, and from which a substantial role in the entity’s performance of a commercially useful function or a substantial part of its operations is conducted. A location utilized solely as a post office box, mail drop or telephone message center or any combination thereof, with no other substantial work function, shall not be construed as a Principal Place of Business.
  • Headquartered means the location where an entity’s leadership directs, controls, and coordinates the entity’s activities.
  • Subsidiary is a company that is completely or partly owned by another company (“parent company”) that owns more than half of the subsidiary’s stock.
  • Independent Subsidiary Company is a subsidiary in which decision making is conducted and carried out independently from its parent company.
  • Dependent Subsidiary Company is a subsidiary in which decision making is conducted and carried out with dependence on its parent company.

 

Documents:

 

  • Click the graphics below to download the documents

 

Hire Houston First Application and Affidavit Hire Houston First Ordinance

Hire Houston First Online ApplicationHire Houston First Online Company Search

 

 

Please submit completed application forms to:

 

Office of Business Opportunity

Houston Business Solutions Center (HBSC)
611 Walker, Lobby Level

Houston, TX 77002

 

Phone: 832.393.0954
Applications may be submitted via e-mail to HoustonBSC@houstontx.gov
Or faxed to 832.393.0650

Free NOTARY is available at HBSC (Call for availability)