Ventura County's Support-Local Program

The Hometown Advantage

Local First. The purchasing policies of cities, schools, universities, hospitals, etc. should be about supporting local from within. How local are you?

The statue of Padre Junipero Serra stands in front of Ventura’s City Hall

Local from within

When making procurement decisions, many cities and states give preference to local businesses. This Local First policy helps to nurture small businesses and to build the local economy. The spending choices of cities, schools, state governments, public universities, public hospitals, etc. should reflect our community values. They should be set in place with a principle of maximizing the local economic. These policies are about supporting local from within.

How local are you?

Nonprofit groups, educational institutions, faith organizations, and others should also be asked to adopt local purchasing preferences as well. How can we do this, you might ask? We must urge our city leaders and leaders in the community to implement a price preference for local services, goods and labor. This policy would give a modest advantage to local businesses. There are dozens of cities and towns across our nation that have adopted local-business purchasing preferences. Before you write that next check in support of local charities or businesses ask yourself: How local are you?

It CAN be done – some examples

The Ventura Pier

A new study commissioned by Local First Arizona reports that a purchasng contract with an independent local supplier recirculates three times as much money in the local economy as the same contract with a national firm.

In Britain, a county council found that vendors based within the county spent 76% of their county contracts locally (on wages paid to local employees and goods and services purchased from local businesses), while vendors based outside the county spent only 36% locally. The council, which has an annual procurement budget of £45 million, concluded that, if it shifted just 10% of its current spending with non‐local suppliers to local suppliers, it would generate an additional £34 million (about $65 million) for the local economy!

WE must do it

In setting standards that support local first, we not only help boost the local economy but we also build long‐term sustainable growth from within. Contact your local government representatives and encourage them to institute local first policies. You can even show them this article!

Image credits: David Pu’u and Broc Ellinger.

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Learn more about author Kat Merrick

Kat Merrick

About the author

Kat Merrick made her mark in the apparel world as an innovative leader and founder of Surf Chick Inc. With over 25 years of extensive experience managing worldwide capacity apparel facilities, companies and product, her superior leadership skills, practiced in directing cross-functional global teams to design, brand, source develop and marketing, won her world-wide recognition and awards. She is considered an expert in the areas of trend studies, brand building and marketing. At 23 years old she opened her first successful retail business in Ventura County, Since then, Kat has owned and operated several very successful retail and wholesale operations and assisted numerous multi-category small businesses to achieve success. Highly respected by many local small business owners, growers, artists and locals, she has been tagged as "the Shop Local girl". Kat's extensive travels, strong business knowledge and desire to make a positive impact locally helped inspire her to create Totally Local VC. A Ventura County resident since 1978, single mother of two and long-standing advocate for support of local small business and all that is Ventura, founder and developer of Totally Local VC, Kat brings her passion for our community to all she does. Her writings, posts and blog reflect her love of family, friends and community and desire to help.

 

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One Comment

  1. Great article. Hope cities and the powers that be will listen.

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