Buy Newark: A Guide to Promoting Economic Inclusion through Local Purchasing


Author +
Solana Rice

Year: 2012

Small, locally owned businesses are the bedrock of thriving economies. They employ millions of people, they invest in their neighborhoods and cities, and they provide wealth-building opportunities for entrepreneurs. A dollar spent at a locally owned business stays in the local economy longer than a dollar spent with a company whose roots lie elsewhere, and it has a greater ripple effect. This guide is designed for Newark, but it is useful for any purchaser or community seeking to improve local buying power.

Any purchaser can start a buy-local program—and this guide explains how. We also describe how a coordinated citywide effort that marshals the buying power of major businesses, anchor institutions, and public agencies to increase local buying can be a critical component of a city’s economic growth strategy. Newark, home to several large corporations, hospitals, and universities, is well positioned to realize the significant benefits of a buy-local initiative.

What are the benefits? For the city, directing more money to locally owned businesses fosters job creation and boosts tax revenue, while keeping profits local where they can be reinvested in the community. This can attract more businesses and residents to Newark. For purchasers, doing business with local contractors can result in faster, less expensive, and more personalized service. It can garner goodwill in the community. And it can save money.

Buying local is a potent economic development tool, but achieving results requires deliberate action, supportive policies, and coordination among stakeholders. Buy Newark: A Guide to Promoting Economic Inclusion through Local Purchasing offers a roadmap for creating a program in a single company or institution and for building momentum for a citywide effort. The guide presents strategies gleaned from best practices around the country and beyond.

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Table of Contents

From the PolicyLink Founder and CEO
From the Brick City Development Corporation Executive Director
Executive Summary
Buy Newark: The Power of Local Purchasing
Buy-Local Strategies, In-Depth
Buy-Local Strategies in Action
Bringing Local Purchasing to Scale: A Coordinated Buy Newark Initiative