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Economic Sustainability: Purchasing that Makes Communities Stronger

10:10am  -  11:10am, Tuesday, May 9, 2017  |  Tower Court A
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Starting Small: Strategies for Engaging Small, Local, & Emerging Businesses in Sustainable Practices
Presenter: Sarah Church
Alameda County has a firm commitment to support small businesses within its borders. The County’s Small, Local, Emerging Business (SLEB) Program was developed to promote and foster inclusiveness, diversity and economic development through providing contracting opportunities to small and local businesses. County staff understand that requirements designed for large companies may not always work for smaller businesses. To accomplish joint aims, sustainability standards are developed that reflect the local marketplace, and incorporate vendor dialogue, incentives rather than penalties, and other strategies designed to foster sustainable practices. This presentation will showcase real-world examples and best practices from the County’s approaches.

Anchor Institutions and Small Businesses Implementing Sustainable Solutions
Presenters: Joel Hommes and Mark Mills
In many urban areas across the United States, universities and hospital systems are the drivers of employment and economic activity. Collectively, the university and hospital “anchor institutions” purchase over $1 trillion of goods and services and control almost the same amount of assets, spending them on salaries, construction, and purchases of goods and services. Beyond their financial clout, anchor institutions are also centers of innovation and civic leadership. Yet the geography of urban economies is such that these institutions are often neighbors to communities that have far fewer economic assets and resources.

Across the country, these anchor institutions have turned to a number of common strategies to leverage their economic and academic power for the holistic benefit of the communities where they are located. Some of these strategies involve local hiring initiatives, place-based/real estate-driven revitalization programs, job training programs, new business incubation, and of course, directing a greater percentage of anchor institution spend on goods and services to local businesses.

In this “Lightning Talk,” Joel Hommes, Director of Business Development at Wash Cycle Laundry, a triple-bottom line laundry provider and Mark Mills, Executive Director of Purchasing Services at The University of Pennsylvania, will offer an account of how one anchor worked with one local business to establish, and then grow, a mutually beneficial relationship, which has contributed to local job creation and measurable sustainability outcomes.

Small Business Strong
Presenter: Betty Padilla
As the global leader in the aerospace and defense industry, Lockheed Martin’s ability to sustain and enhance supplier diversity helps us expand opportunity, strengthens our supply chain, and ensures we can deliver the quality products our customers rely on. This strategic commitment also helps us meet our goal to be “Small Business Strong.”