May 7, 2013

Valley Metro program to support local businesses

Phoenix-based Valley Metro is implementing a Buy Local Program to purchase more goods and services locally with small businesses in Maricopa County. This new program will give preference to locally-owned, small business enterprises on non-federally funded “small purchases” of $50,000 or less. On an annual basis, this program could result in keeping more than $4 million dollars in the metro Phoenix business community.

“We have the privilege of building and operating transit in a community with a wide variety of quality small businesses,” said Valley Metro CEO Steve Banta. “They are assets to our community and our existing and future transit routes. Their success is our success.”

Modeled after programs implemented by cities within the region, Valley Metro’s small purchase needs will be shared initially with businesses in the county using the State’s Procure AZ database. If there is insufficient competition from the region’s small business community, request for quotes will be solicited from businesses throughout Arizona.

“Valley Metro’s commitment to building a stronger economy here is admirable,” said Local First Arizona Executive Director Kimber Lanning.  “The money they spend with local business will recirculate in the community up to three times more than if they spent that money with a non-local business. The local companies winning contracts will then, in turn, have a local graphic designer, web developer or accountant, and so money changes hands within the region and creates added value. We applaud Valley Metro for leading the way to a more sustainable economy.”

Since July 2012, Valley Metro has spent more than $4 million on small purchases (of $50,000 or less, using non-federal funds), including office supplies, equipment rentals, printing, uniforms and bike racks. Valley Metro has done business with local companies in years past; this new program will better ensure that all of these dollars stay within the state.

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