Buffalo First?

27 Nov

Maybe it’s time to take the buy local angle in a new direction.

I was preparing to write a post on the proposed bailout of the automotive industry.  While I was doing some research about the impact of auto plant closures on rust belt cities, I came across this little gem.

Whenever the City of Lansing, MI buys something or hires companies to provide service, it will first look to companies who hire, buy their raw materials and contract other services within the city limits.

The official executive order can be found here.

Why not use the purchasing power of government to bring business into the city?  The City of Buffalo is not managed by executive order but, this might be an idea for the Common Council to take under consideration.

It’s not a mandate, but it does encourage local service providers and manufacturing companies to at least establish a nominal presence in the City of Buffalo.  Strenghtening our urban core is a must if we are to grow as a region, right?

You can tell me this idea is bullshit, but at least it’s a idea…

One Response to “Buffalo First?”

  1. Brian November 27, 2008 at 6:23 am #

    I think, in general, local governments do try to award contracts and purchase goods and services from local companies when able.
    Consider, though:
    Many, if not most, purchases for goods come from a state contract. NYS bids out thousands of goods that governments needs and local governments are obliged to purchase off that contract (unless found cheaper elsewhere). The thinking is that it provides municipalities with greater purchasing power, and, therefore, a more competitive price than if they were to go out alone.
    Local governments must chose the lowest responsible bidder when awarding a contract for a service, by NYS law.
    Many initiative, such as the Erie County Apprenticeship Local Law would favor local and NYS employers. This law, however, is often treated as merely a (sometimes fairly, sometimes unfairly) pro-union item and was gutted by the County Executive.

    The fact is that many municipalities have there hand tied the vast majority of the time.

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