An iconic scene plays out in municipalities across America every holiday season. A group of people - framed by a backdrop of festive, colorful holiday lights and bundled up to protect against the cold and snow - gather in a public place in celebration.

This scene isn’t possible without government agency purchasing. From clearing the road of snow and ice to putting on brightly-lit holiday festivals, local governments - and the vendors who partner with them - make a powerful civic impact every holiday season.

Winter Months Create Cold Weather Contracting Opportunities

The months of December and January bring cold weather and heavy snowfall to much of the country. With this weather comes opportunities for vendors in the business-to-government (B2G) market to provide products and services such as snow plows and other snow vehicles, roadway de-icing, tire chain supplies and pothole repairs.

Snow removal services are particularly vital for state, local and education (SLED) government agencies. Too much snow on the roads means that everyday life for public citizens grinds to a halt, and trips to the homes of friends and family can become treacherous.

From September to November of 2016, Onvia’s B2G Intelligence System (B2GIS) tracked 893 bids and RFPs for snow removal services. These projects are most commonly put out by cities and towns -accounting for 318 of those bids and RFPs - but opportunities do exist at the state, county and school district levels as well.

Snow Removal Service

Some agencies find innovative ways to deal with an influx of snow. For instance, Howard County in Maryland recently announced it was spending $44,000 on a new snow plow tracking system. Residents of Howard County will be able to go online, follow the progress of county snow plows and determine when a particular area of road will be safely cleared.

Vendors Provide Festive Lighting, Holiday Events and More

Lighting service providers doing business with the government can fulfill a key need during the holidays. Many agencies put out contracts every year for holiday lighting products and installation to give their streets and hubs of civic activity a festive, appealing look.

For example, Essex County in New Jersey recently awarded a contract to furnish, deliver, install and remove a holiday lights display at the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo as part of a free holiday event that supports charitable causes. And the City of Troy in Michigan just awarded two contracts for holiday lighting totaling nearly $100,000 – one for the purchase of LED holiday lights and accessories, and one to install and remove holiday lights on spruce trees along a roadside median.

Vendors can also find opportunities promoting, supplying and coordinating holiday events. Agencies often host holiday parties for their own employees, which leads to bids for food services and security. At the same time, these agencies work to create seasonal magic for their citizens. The city of Talladega, Alabama awarded a $50,000 contract to Telegraph Creative to help transform the town square into a “Christmas Village”.

Partnerships like these help to create mutual benefits for private businesses and government agencies, all the while creating a festive holiday environment for the general public to enjoy.