Our mayor supports buying local and, in my opinion, he hit a home run for our local small business. We are one of the 10 vendors awarded a contract for PPE, and the ability to bid on a contract this size was a unique opportunity.
You have two businesses that are being vocal about how we have been impacted by the city’s decision to purchase PPE from local vendors for distribution. Interestingly enough, Mike and Kate Sweeney are business neighbors of ours. We are across a small residential street in our SE ABQ HUBZone neighborhood, they are good neighbors and I appreciate the difficulty they’ve experienced in having to enforce mandates. They should not be enforcers, and I cannot imagine why any customer would take their frustration out on their employees or any employee. As small-business owners, we are trying to comply with this unprecedented virus and keep our businesses afloat.
Small, locally owned businesses are the largest employer in the nation; buying local means a stronger tax base for Albuquerque and more investment in our community. It’s well known that money spent locally means more money stays in your community. In our case, the city’s purchase means we can keep our special-needs employees working.
Shouldn’t the bigger question be why is it so much more difficult to purchase from local vendors? It would have been easy for the city to purchase all its PPE from an out-of-state state corporation, but would it have been able to deliver? The state contracts for office products – a common distribution chain for PPE – are held, exclusively, by corporations owned out of state.
To buy locally, the city was required to put the items out for bid, post for a required amount of days allowing for questions and many other state regulations and red tape that add to the effort and time burden. Who is this mythical out-of-state corporation that could have saved us by magically producing vast amounts of PPE when companies across the world were scrambling to produce and acquire it? When the pandemic hit, it was local breweries that stepped up to make hand sanitizer, local T-shirt makers began producing face masks and a local paper company that sold us toilet paper. We even have a made-in-Albuquerque face mask now.
With the mayor’s and economic director’s decision to buy local, they chose to place over $1 million back into our economy. Unfortunately, it does take effort and time to support local, and I appreciate our city leaders for putting in the extra effort to support our business.
… Perhaps if our larger New Mexico employers buy locally we could cut into the time it has taken to get these products to our fellow small-business owners. Diverse Office Supply would be delighted to sell to you as well. The promised PPE packages are coming — – our one line item is being delivered as I type. When they are distributed to your business, know that our terrific crew of special-needs employees will have helped to package and distribute the products. We are extremely thankful for the work.