After a one-year trial run, Rock Hill will consider extending a policy that gives breaks to local businesses that compete for city contracts.
The local preference was used one time in the first year for a landscaping job, city officials said.
Under the plan, a York County business gets an opportunity to do a city job if it comes within 3 percent of the lowest bid. However, in order to be chosen, the local firm must lower its price to match the low bid.
The gap between bids must be less than $10,000, meaning the program would mostly apply to small jobs such as water line installation, grass cutting and paving work.
City Manager David Vehaun says the policy -- set to expire March 1 -- should become permanent. Council members will discuss the proposal Monday night at their regular 6 p.m. meeting.
"The continuation of these provisions will continue to accommodate local business while staying accountable to our taxpayers," Vehaun said in a memo to council members.
The proposal comes as Rock Hill searches for solutions to an unemployment crisis. The jobless rate in the city has hovered around 20 percent for more than a year.
Rock Hill tackles $10 million to $15 million a year in building projects, from sewer and water lines to one-time items such as a new operations center.
Contractors should have more opportunities in the coming year, said assistant city manager Jimmy Bagley.
"I think it allows people to get close," said Bagley. "We're trying to support you guys, but you've got to get your bids as close as you can."