FINDINGS FROM BUY LOCAL INITIATIVE ANNOUNCED
(New Haven, Connecticut) Today, Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. and Economic Development Administrator Kelly Murphy joined the owners of Lupi’s Bakery, City staff and consultants from Next Street to announce the findings from the Buy Local Initiative.
The event was held on the sidewalk in front of the Lupi’s Bakery a 100-year old family business on Washington Street in the Hill neighborhood and featured remarks from cousins and business partners Peter and Larry Lupi, city officials and consultants who presented the findings from the Office of Economic Development’s Buy Local Initiative Phase 1 Report, and a preview of the next steps of the program.
Lupi’s Bakery was selected to showcase one of city’s largest vendors and to highlight the value of purchasing goods and services from New Haven-based businesses. Lupi’s provides rolls and bread for the City schools.
“With an a annual general fund budget of nearly $700 million we want to ensure that whenever possible those dollars be spent locally at companies such as Lupi's who have remained committed to the city providing jobs and bread to our residents for over 100 years,” said Mayor DeStefano. “Buying local helps create a range of jobs throughout New Haven, strengthening the local economy.”
“The first phase of the Buy Local Initiative focused on evaluating the amount of money the City spends on goods and services provided by local, small, and/or minority-owned businesses and opportunities for the City to collaborate with Departments throughout the city to further enhance its spend with these businesses,” said Economic Development Administrator Kelly Murphy. “Additionally the study identified a range of opportunities for the City to enhance its existing procurement spend throughout many city departments with local businesses and to further support economic growth in New Haven.
“Our experience working with small businesses and government agencies has shown us time and again the importance and power of government procurement in supporting the establishment and growth of local and diverse businesses,” added Jon Aram, a Partner at Next Street, the city’s consultant who performed the study.
The first phase report shows that “the City of New Haven compares favorably to other municipalities, such as New York and Los Angeles, in terms of the proportion of its spending that goes to local and diverse businesses. In fiscal year 2011, the City spent $30 million with local businesses, which represents approximately 26% of its “addressable” procurement spend. In addition to a strong local performance, the City also spent $21 million with diverse vendors of which approximately 50% was with local diverse businesses.” The report also highlighted four specific opportunities to further improve the City’s procurement from local businesses:
1. Increase transparency into the City’s procurement data and activities
2. Reduce internal barriers to increasing local spending
3. Expand tools and programs that support local procurement
4. Publicize opportunities and performance
Based on the analysis conducted during the first phase, the City will release a second phase report later this year detailing specific recommendations aimed at enhancing the City’s ability to identify and support local and diverse businesses. These recommendations will include clear implementation plans for:
1. Developing materials to clearly explain City procurement and payment processes to vendors
2. Developing outreach events for local businesses
3.Implementing a vendor self-service system to create additional efficiency and transparency in the City’s data collection and procurement / payment processes, and allow the City to more accurately track its performance with local vendors
4.Working with the City’s Corporation Counsel Office implementing a vendor evaluation system enabling the City to collect and share assessments of vendors’ performance with City project managers
“We applaud the City’s support and their efforts to Buy Local,” said Peter Lupi, Owner of Lupi’s Bakery. “We look forward to working with the city in the future and to continue our tradition of being part of the city fabric for years to come.”