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A competitive procurement made by the BJWSA may be made from responsive and responsible resident suppliers within the jurisdictions of Beaufort or Jasper County for procurement, if such bid does not exceed the lowest qualified bid from a nonlocal supplier by more than one percent of the lowest nonlocal supplier. The local supplier has the discretion to match the bid submitted by the nonlocal supplier and receive the contract award.

A vendor or supplier shall be deemed to be a “local vendor” if such vendor is an individual, partnership, association or corporation that is authorized to transact business within the state, maintains an office in Beaufort or Jasper County, has a business license of Beaufort or Jasper County, or one of the municipalities within County jurisdictions, and maintains a representative inventory of commodities within Beaufort or Jasper County or one of the municipalities on which the bid is submitted and has paid all taxes duly assessed.

If the procurement is to be made pursuant to state or federal guidelines that prohibit or restrict a preference, there shall be no local supplier preference unless a more restricted variation is allowed under the guidelines.