by Connor Hill, GovDirections Intern

In order for local governments to improve and maintain their communities, elected officials allocate revenues to projects and equipment prioritized along citizen goals. This article compares cities and their capital spending plans for Parks and Recreation goals in several southeastern states. The goal is to draw comparison between these local governments so trends can be identifies and private companies providing those work for those projects and equipment can better estimate profitable areas of business opportunity.

The data has been gathered form approved budgets for the current or upcoming fiscal years. The data comes directly from each local government’s operating budgets and Capital Improvement Plans (CIPS). To accommodate for differences in population, comparisons are made on a per capita scale so that we can determine average spending per citizen. This is an acceptable methodology to allow the development of benchmarks that can show differences and develop spending projections on a regional or state basis.


Table I
States Analyzed

North Carolina
South Carolina (Highest per capita)
Florida (Lowest per capita)

Table I shows a list of the states where data was pulled. Overall, we found that local governments plan to spend a per capita average of $50.36. The highest per capita spending was found in South Carolina and the lowest in Florida.

BaseballGovernments Plan to Spend on Recreation


South Carolina is a starting point for this analysis, because among the southeastern cities Columbia[i] and Charleston[ii] plan to spend the most budget funds per capita on Parks and Recreation. Thus, making them an outlier in the data collection. Columbia ranking number one at $147.72 per capita, and Charleston following with $123.44. This trend alone shows that these two cities of nearly identical populations are very similar in their plans for Parks and Recreation.

Table II
South Carolina Projects

Park Restoration/Refurb- $15,432,700
Arts Center Facility- $1,150,000
Small Park Space- $1,981,559
Structure Demolition & Park Creation- $1,850,025
Lake Renovation- $6,134,090

This trend is quite similar to one that is visible in the state of Florida. However, there are some differences.


Florida is located on the opposite side of the spectrum of per capita spending. The cities of Tallahassee[i] and Jacksonville[ii] rank the lowest in intended per capita spending for Parks and Recreation. Tallahassee ranking lowest at $5.11 per capita, and Jacksonville ranking slightly higher at $7.12. These cities of incredibly different population sizes are choosing to spend similar amounts of money per capita on Parks and Recreation. This trend is intended to continue for several years, which can be seen in the future plans laid out in each city’s budget.

Florida Projects

Sports Center Lights- $278,000
Facility Maintenance- $953,000
Park Upgrades- $1,655,105
Park Amenities- $1,000,000
Pool Construction- $150,000

The connecting trend that is visible here is that cities of any population size will allocate a similar amount of funds to their Parks and Recreation departments, if they are outliers when compared to other cities of states in their region. This process may be fueled by an overarching state plan for Parks and Recreation that each city is following, or even attempts to grow their departments versus just maintaining what they have. The higher spending states choosing to grow their departments, and the lower spending choosing to simply maintain what they have. The trend is subject to change however, if a city that is choosing to grow reaches its intended growth point before another in its state. For example, P&R spending in Columbia is intended to decrease in 2018 after most likely reaching their intended growth point. The Charleston will continue growing their P&R department, but will quickly begin decreasing after 2019.

Both Florida and South Carolina are outliers in the data, but other states still have large projects they are implementing. Table IV shows projects in the cities that are closer to the average ($50.36) in terms of per capita spending.

Cities                                       Projects

Nashville, Tennessee         Open Space Creation- $18,000,000
Baton Rouge, Louisiana         River Center Improvements- $500,000
Savannah, Georgia                     Park Upgrades- $410,000
Raleigh, North Carolina        Aquatic Improvements- $1,500,000

[I] Columbia Budget
[II] Charleston Budget
[III] Tallahassee Budget
[IV] Jacksonville Budget

Finding State and Local Contracts Early

Are you reading a request for proposal and thinking “geez this sure looks like my competitor wrote the RFP?” Well, they just might have.

The local, state and federal government contracting stage is much longer than simply the open period for responses. The process often starts years in advance with capital improvement planning. These plans move forward to the active budget planning stage where local procurement specialists start inquiring about cost proposals. The actual cost estimations may come from comparable local government projects (and those local officials), but may also come from directly from vendors.

Budgets: The Best Lead Source

Monitoring local government budgets for upcoming plans is a simple way to learn about these projects early. The first document to watch is the capital improvement budget. GovDirections monitors CIP plans and publishes links to those documents online. They are reviewed by analysts with experience in public budget reviews. The second document to watch is the actual fiscal or calendar year budget. These budgets will general publish line item acquisition plans. GovDirections expert staff reads through these public budgets and publishes those items online.

Finding state and local contracts early in the opportunity stage is one of the best way to win new government business. So next time the RFP is issued – make your competition think you help designed the proposal document!

Web Developers: Five Government RFPs

Government bids and government RFPs are issued daily for web development.

Here are five active contracts your company can win today:

California Bids

State Bar of California Website Redesign now bidding.

Georgia Bids

Athens Downtown Development Authority now seeking RFPS for  Website Design/Development.

Kansas Bids

Kansas State University now seeking RFPS for  Web Development.

New Hampshire Bids

State of New Hampshire Department of Economic Development is seeking RFPs for a Site Selection Website.

Ohio Bids

Lakota Local School District is seeking RFPs for Website Redesign & Hosting.

Five government contract opportunities you can win today. Learn more at http://govdirections.com (and see dozens of other RFPs).

Five Government Contracts Roofing Company

Alabama Bids

Auburn University, Alabama is seeking government bids for  Hoerlein Hall Roof Replacement.

Roof Replacement RFP

Arkansas Bids

Little Rock, Arkansas is seeking proposals for Replacement of Roof of the Alexander JDTC Administration Bldg., located in Alexander, Arkansas for the Arkansas Department of Human Services PR #7101513.

Roof Replacement RFP

Colorado Bids

Weld County, Colorado is seeking bids for Roof Replacement, Plaza.

Roof Replacement RFP

Florida Bids

Alachua County, Florida is seeking bids for Alachua County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall Building Repairs, Improvements and Re-Roofing.

Roof Replacement RFP

Indiana Bids

Fort Wayne Housing Authority, Indiana is seeking responses for Fort Wayne Housing Authority Beacon Heights Pergola located at 2210 Beacon Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46805.

Pergola RFP

Five government contracts for roofing that you can win today.

Request for Proposals – Lobbyist Services

Government Contracts Your Lobbying Firm Can Win


Maricopa Community Colleges, Arizona is accepting sealed proposals to select qualified companies/firms that will assist MCCCD to advance its state agenda by achieving measurable outcomes related to statutory language, policy development, fiscal considerations and other state support.

Link to RFP


South Coast Air Quality Management District, California is seeking Legislative Representation in Washington, D.C. 

Link to RFP


Saint Lucie County, Florida is seeking RFPs for Lobbyist Services.  

Link to RFP


Chatham Area Transit Authority is seeking proposals for Legislative Advocacy Services.


Cincinnati, Ohio is requesting qualifications for State Lobbyist Services.

Plus more contracts you can win today at GovDirections!

Secure Your Chance of Winning a Gov’t Contract

Secure Your Bid
Board Room

Are you a small business that wants to land a big contract? You may be surprised at who your best customer might be: the government! Thousands of large corporations score government contracts every single day. This directly increases their profits in a major way. Just because you operate a smaller business does not mean you cannot win one, too. Further, as a women-owned company, you are equally entitled to earning a government contract just as much as the bigwigs in huge franchises. You need to first understand what a government contract is, how to find them, and how to win your fair share.

What Is a Government Contractor?

A government contractor is a private company that produces goods and services based on the contract the government created for them. The contractor may work for profit or no profit (non-profit). In either case, a government contractor will assist your business with jobs and revenue. Whether you are just opening your doors or have been in business for decades, you will want a government contractor on your side. It basically guarantees sales of your goods and services.

What is even better for you as a small business owner is the fact that the law requires a certain percentage of all government contracts to be awarded to small businesses. The billion-dollar companies cannot always win the contracts. After all, America is built on small businesses! You have a good opportunity to earn some extra cash for your company as long as you find the right contract for your specific industry. There are government contracts available for nearly every type of industry, from consulting companies, equipment goods, IT needs, rails and roadways, services, supplies, and trades. So, whether you are in accounting or graphic design, there is a contract for your industry.

The best way to go about finding the right government contract is by familiarizing yourself with the rules of contracting. There are local, state, and federal contracts available through government affiliations. Each type offers different amounts of money !important; likewise, each has specific reporting requirements. There may be limitations on several factors, including how much your small business can subcontract, the types of products you can provide, and the overall interaction that is necessary with other firms. It is critical you adhere to these regulations in order to keep your contract. If your small business can fulfill such tasks required, that is very beneficial to you. You can complete the contract at a reasonable price and timeframe, which gives you the upper hand in comparison to large companies.

Do Research for Your Specific Industry

It is essential that you research what contracts and agencies are available for buying your specific goods and services. You can search government bids on the Government Bid, Contracts, RFPs site. The user-friendly site is very easy to navigate. In fact, there are thousands of active government bids every day, and the site sorts them all by industry, including:

  • Business Events, Expos, Matchmaking
  • Business Guides and General Reports
  • Capital Improvement Program Review
  • Consulting: Accounting, Banking, and Finance RFPs
  • Consulting: Architectural and Engineering RFPs
  • Consulting: Conservation, Energy, Solar, Green RFPs
  • Consulting: Court and Legal Government RFPs
  • Consulting: Dental, Healthcare, Medical RFPs
  • Consulting: Education, Training, Leadership, Religion RFPs
  • Consulting: Event Planning, Hotel,Conference RFPs
  • Consulting: Housing, Assisted Living, Nursing Home RFPs
  • Consulting: Human Resources, Staffing, Recruitment RFPs
  • Consulting: Insurance and Benefit Plan RFPs
  • Consulting: Interior Design Service Government RFPs
  • Consulting: Management, Technical, Research and Development RFPs
  • Consulting: Marketing, Advertising, PR, Graphic Design RFPs
  • Consulting: Planning and Transportation Analysis, CDBG RFPs
  • Consulting: Professional Services and Federal RFPs
  • Consulting: Public Affairs, Legislative, Lobbyist RFPs
  • Consulting: Real Estate, Purchase, Lease, Structure, Facility RFPs
  • Consulting: Youth and Aging Service RFPs
  • Defense Logistics Agency
  • Equipment: Air Circulation, Boilers, Furnace, Refrigerator Bids
  • Equipment: Aircraft Related Bids
  • Equipment: Appliances, Service and Trade Equipment Bids
  • Equipment: Athletic, Playground, Recreation, Golf Carts Bids
  • Equipment: Auto, OEM Part Bids
  • Equipment: Boat and Marine Bids
  • Equipment: Engine, Turbine, Component Government Bids
  • Equipment: Heavy, Dump Truck, Tractor, Trailer, Lift Bids
  • Equipment: Installation, Maintenance, and Repair
  • Equipment: Instrumentation Bids
  • Equipment: Light Vehicle, Auto, Pick-up Truck Bids
  • Equipment: Machinery, Small, Mower Bids
  • Equipment: Medical and Laboratory Government Bids
  • Equipment: Modular and Prefabricated Structure Bids
  • Equipment: Office and Copier Bids
  • Equipment: Petroleum Bulk Station and Terminal RFPs
  • Equipment: Power Supply, Solar, Generator, UPS, Battery Bids
  • Equipment: Purification and Filter Bids
  • Equipment: Rental and Leasing
  • Equipment: Safety, Fire, Police Government Bids and RFPs
  • Equipment: Solid Waste Bids
  • Equipment: Tanks (Fuel and Water) Bids
  • Equipment: Tools, Hand, Power Bids
  • Equipment: Transit, Custom Vehicle Conversions, Railway (Buses, Trains, Modular Vehicles)
  • Equipment: Water, Wastewater, Pump Bids
  • IT: Consulting and Service RFPs
  • IT: Data, Records Management, Storage, SAN RFPs
  • IT: Drones, Robotics, Unmanned Vehicles and Crafts
  • IT: Education (K-12 and Higher) RFPs
  • IT: Financial, Accounting, Payroll system Government RFPs
  • IT: Geographic, RFID, GPS Systems, Mapping and Seismic Bids
  • IT: Hardware and Government Technology Equipment Bids
  • IT: Media, Audio, and Visual Government Bids
  • IT: Medical, Lab, Science Technology Project Opportunities
  • IT: Network, Wi-Fi, Fiber, Internet Project Government RFPs
  • IT: Photography, Microfilming, Scanning, Copy
  • IT: Recycling, Disposal of Electronic Device Bids
  • IT: Security — Cyber, Technology-Related RFPs
  • IT: Security, Alarm, CCTV, and Monitoring RFPs
  • IT: Simulation Equipment, Kiosk and Service RFPs
  • IT: Software used by Governments
  • IT: Video Production Opportunities issued by Governments
  • IT: Voice, Communication, Telecom RFPs
  • IT: Web Development, Database, Programming, Application RFPs
  • Roads and Rails: Aggregate, Asphalt, Concrete, Traffic Paint Bids
  • Roads and Rails: Construction, Bridges, Striping Bids
  • Roads and Rails: Parking, Meters and Ticketing System RFPs
  • Roads and Rails: Sidewalks, Pathways, Parking Lot Bids
  • Roads and Rails: Signalization, Signals, Post, Poles, Related Bids
  • Roads and Rails: Snow Removal, Sweeping, Service Bids
  • Sale and Government Auctions: Equipment and Property
  • Services / Equipment: Vehicle Conversion CNG / Propane
  • Services / Supplies: Agriculture and Animal Related Government Bids
  • Services: Art, Exhibit, Monuments, Cemetery Government Bids
  • Services: Auctioneering RFPs
  • Services: Auto Repair, Towing, Equipment Repair Government Bids
  • Services: Billing, Collection, Investigation, Background, Fingerprint, Livescan
  • Services: Call Center, Answering, Telemarketing RFPs
  • Services: Cleaning and Custodial Government Building RFPs
  • Services: Concessions, Food Services, Vending Bids
  • Services: Environment, Abatement, Hazardous Gov RFPs
  • Services: Facility, Property, Park Management, Operation Bids
  • Services: Federal – S / Utilities Bids and RFPs
  • Services: Grounds, Landscaping and Irrigation RFPs
  • Services: Interpreter, Translation, Transcription, Court Reporting
  • Services: Laboratory RFPs
  • Services: Laundry, Linen, Mats, Washing Bids
  • Services: Personal, Sewing, Upholstery RFPs
  • Services: Pest Control, Weed Government Bids
  • Services: Printing, Publishing and Mailing RFPs
  • Services: Recreational and Sport Government RFPs
  • Services: Recycling, Shredding, and Waste RFPs
  • Services: Security, Assessment, Training Government RFPs
  • Services: Transport, Hauling, Shipping, Warehousing, Moving Bids
  • Supplies: Ammunitions, Weapons, Gun, Rifle Gov Bids
  • Supplies: Beverage, Food, Smallware Bids
  • Supplies: Building, Rope, Chain, Lumber, Glass, Steel, Const. Related
  • Supplies: Chemicals, Gases (Not Fuel) Government Bids
  • Supplies: Clothing and Uniform Government Bids
  • Supplies: Custodial, Janitorial, Soaps, Paper Towels Bids
  • Supplies: Dental, Laboratory and Medical RFPs
  • Supplies: Education, Training, Art Bids
  • Supplies: Electrical, Lighting, Cabling Bids
  • Supplies: Fuel, Oil, Lubricant Bids
  • Supplies: Furniture, Furnishings, Shelving, Desk Bids
  • Supplies: Grounds, Landscaping, Turf Related Government Bids
  • Supplies: Hardware, Abrasive, Bearing Bids
  • Supplies: Musical, Phonograph, Radio Government Bids
  • Supplies: Office Supply, Paper Bids
  • Supplies: Personal Care Item Bids
  • Supplies: Plastic Products, Containers, Tags, Seal Bids
  • Supplies: Plumbing, Irrigation, Water Meters, Valves Bids
  • Supplies: Promotional Item, Award, Seasonal Firework RFPs
  • Supplies: Signs, Wayfinding, Signage (Interior,Exterior) Bids
  • Supplies: Textile, Fabric, and Flag Bids
  • Trades: Carpentry, Doors, Entryways, Locksmith Bids
  • Trades: Concrete, Granite, Masonry, Brick, Block Contracting Opps
  • Trades: Demolition, Salvage, and Excavation Bids
  • Trades: Electrical RFPs and Bids
  • Trades: Elevator and Lift Government Bids
  • Trades: Fence, Gate, Guardrail Government Bids
  • Trades: Flooring, Carpet, Tile Work Contract Opportunities
  • Trades: General Construction, CM, Subcontractor Opportunities
  • Trades: Glass, Glazing, Windows, Tinting Contract Listings
  • Trades: HVAC, Refrigeration, Mechanical Bid Opportunities
  • Trades: Inspection, Quality Control, and Surveying Opportunities
  • Trades: Insulation, Siding, Ceiling Work Contracts and Bids
  • Trades: Machinist, Fabrication and Welding Contract Opportunities
  • Trades: Marine Construction, Dredging Bids
  • Trades: Painting (Paint Supplies), Wash, Blast, Weatherproof Bids
  • Trades: Park, Pool, Playground, Stadium Construction Bids
  • Trades: Park, Pool, Playground, Stadium Construction Bids
  • Trades: Plumbing, Fire Protection Service Bids
  • Trades: Roofing, Gutters, Canopy Government Projects
  • Trades: Water and Sewer, Utility Construction Contract Bids

Chances are very good your area of services and goods fall under one of these categories. You also have the ability to search contract awards on the site. It details the title of the contract, award date, the company who won, and the amount of money. Some examples include:

  • Asphalt Paving on May 11, 2012 for $323,971
  • Color-Changing LED Lighting System on May 6, 2015 for $24,917.66
  • Library Carpet Replacement on April 16, 2015 for $74,900
  • Electrical Substation Distribution Equipment on April 13, 2015 for $141,756.38
  • Camp Park Fire Suppression Repair or Replacement on April 6, 2015 for $13,368
  • Pool Heating system Replacement on April 6, 2015 for $22,175

There are over 30,000 awarded contracts listed that you can search based on keyword, company, or industry. Can you imagine your small business winning one of these contracts? It would be a colossal profit for your company. The contracts also benefit the businesses receiving the goods and services, as well as the economy for your community in general.

Get Ready to Apply For Government Contracts

There are three crucial points to keep in mind during this entire process. First, you must prepare to invest. Just as any other type of work, it takes money to make money. You may feel overwhelmed at how much you have to initially invest in order to get a government contract. However, you should remember that what you are spending to win will pay for itself several times over when the contract is awarded to you.

Second, you can tailor your services. If you are close to satisfying the requirements of a government contract, but something within your goods and services is a tad different, the best thing to do is change your goods and services. In other words, decide what to sell. Figure out what products or services you will sell to which federal agencies. Make your products fit the requirements !important; it will be worth it in the end!

Finally, you should find a mentor to assist you with the entire process. If this is your first time applying, or even searching, for government
contracts, it can be a little tricky, to say the least. You can attend networking events and information sessions. This way, you will familiarize yourself with the government agencies that hold contracts for your industry. You can even contact the small business specialist for the federal agency directly. Each agency has one, so identify who it is, and set up a meeting. During the meeting, you do not have to try to sell your product. You are not trying to convince the specialist to pick you for the contract. Rather, the specialist can point you in the right direction of who will actually do the buying.

Stop trying to analyze the fine print yourself, and hire someone who can get your foot in the door.

Beyond these three essential factors, there are several other key elements to remember when looking for government contracts. These include:

  • Keep your cool — Remember, you are selling to the government, so this sales pitch will be extremely different than trying to convince a private sector that they need your goods and services. If you are too aggressive, it can turn the government agency away. Although you can be passionate about your business, you always want to stay in a positive light.
  • Show off your goods and services — Although you should not come off as aggressive, you can strut your stuff. It might be beneficial to lend out your products for testing or demo your services directly in front of the agency. When they see you have confidence in your business, it may entice them to pick you.
  • Be realistic — You should never assume you will automatically win a contract just because you are a small business. The quality of your goods and services, and the competitiveness of your pricing will boost your chances of winning. The government agency will analyze your past profits and performances. Do not get in over your head on your very first contract, promising the sun, stars, and moon. You need to be practical about your business and its capabilities.

You will have to prove yourself if you win the contract, which will give you a better shot of repeat work in the future.
You must get certified if you are a woman-owned business or a minority-owned business. This can be done through either a state or national entity. Make sure you do your homework, and utilize the many entities available, because several government contracts must be awarded to these specific types of businesses. You will be one step closer to earning a contract for your small business!

Government Bid, Contracts, RFPs makes it easy for you to stay in the loop of what government contracts are available, thanks to its free registry. You can sign up to receive daily local, state, and federal bids, contracts, and RFPs to your email. The contracts may be from cities, counties, schools, airports, authorities, and other agencies.

As a small business owner, you are faced with constant challenge financially. It can be difficult to stay positive at times. However, it will be easy to keep your head afloat in the industry, thanks to government contracts. You need to keep in mind that someone in the United States is going to win these contracts !important; it might as well be you! So, search your industry, and search it often. You will be amazed at how many fall under your goods and services. Once you find one that is tailored to your specific company, and you meet all of the requirements, apply! You will have a government contract on your hands within the next couple of weeks.

What Winning Looks Like
Workers Celebrating Bids

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Request for Proposals Classification and Compensation

The local government human resource consulting market continues to rapidly grow after nearly a decade of minimal compensation adjustments. The Census Bureau reports that local government workers comprise the majority of the state and local government workforces with more than 10.5 million of the 13.8 million employees.

The following local governments are currently requesting proposals to review their classification compensation systems:

For more information on any of these projects please contact Pete at (800) 492-8523.