“Buy Local” Joint Procurement Fair attended by over 200 local business owners and employees to learn about work with Albuquerque anchor institutions.
“About 40 percent of our contracts come from these larger groups, and we like working with them because they are right in our backyard, but procurement can be a real challenge. It can take a long time to develop those connections.” Joe Gordon, Attendee
To kick off Small Business Week, Albuquerque Living Cities Integration Initiative, alongside the City of Albuquerque, the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque Public Schools, Central New Mexico Community College and the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce hosted a “Buy Local” Joint Procurement Fair for small businesses to come learn about opportunities to work with Albuquerque anchor institutions. The event for local businesses focused intentionally on women-, veteran- and minority-owned businesses to open up more opportunities to support homegrown companies through local procurement practices.
Over 200 local businesses attended the half-day event, which consisted of networking, presentations and focused breakout sessions. Each of the participating anchor institutions provided insights into their respective procurement processes and offered a forecast of the types of goods and services they purchase.
The Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce organized the event. Synthia Jaramillo, Chief Operating Officer of the Chamber said, “We want small businesses to have the same opportunities and access as large companies when it comes to New Mexico procurement. Right now, far too many contracts are being awarded out of state and we congratulate the City and these anchor institutions for their foresight to address this important issue.” In addition to organizing and staffing the event, the Chamber’s Marvin Lozano provided Spanish translation on site for Spanish speaking attendees.
In his address at the event, Dr. Richard Larson, Executive Vice Chancellor of the UNM Health Sciences Center, said, “All these institutions have immense economic development potential. We want to make Albuquerque healthier by buying, hiring and investing locally.”
Public sector procurement is one of Albuquerque’s great opportunities to cultivate jobs and increase income. This procurement session is another step towards identifying and addressing gaps to create systemic change in Albuquerque’s procurement practices that benefits homegrown businesses.