Buy Detroit: Local Procurement Program Enables Small Business Growth, Diversity And Job Creation

The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation launched the Detroit-to-Detroit (D2D) program in March 2013 to identify and strengthen business-to-business connections throughout the city. Thanks to support from the New Economy Initiative and TCF Bank, DEGC and Detroit Means Business have incorporated key learnings from D2D into a new, expanded program called BuyDetroit (BD). The BD portal launched April 1, and will drive inclusivity and diversity in the type and number of Detroit-based suppliers who are poised to compete for large-scale development projects, and product or service purchases.

The program’s goal is to help Detroit businesses grow in scale while increasing jobs and new local investment. BD’s initial focus is streamlining systems that can accelerate processes using new and existing connections. Supporting Detroit-headquartered businesses also injects equity and access into the procurement process.

While the goal of BuyDetroit is to drive inclusivity and diversity, increase jobs, build capacity and accelerate new investment at local firms, the immediate work is focused on strengthening procurement systems.

Steering the BD program is the Buyer Council, a group of top purchasing executives from both for- and nonprofit organizations poised to increase their own local buys. These leaders are helping reshape how local contracts are managed, using several solutions including certification, scaling and promoting new opportunities with the City of Detroit and other enterprises represented by the Buyer Council.

The Buyer Council is also the champion of the BuyDetroit Procurement Portal, a new clearinghouse that will help aggregate procurement opportunities in one digital repository. It’s simple. First, suppliers and buyers create online profiles. Then they can post and obtain real-time opportunities in a variety of service areas exclusively for quality businesses headquartered or based in the City of Detroit. Buyers can easily access suppliers through the supplier database to match their procurement needs. Through this robust data and reporting portal, BD can also measure critical factors in the supply chain and increase access to opportunities for Detroit- headquartered, minority, women, and veteran suppliers.

BuyDetroit utilizes a proven model of local and inclusive procurement that has seen success in many cities across the nation. New York, Cleveland and Phoenix have all used similar initiatives to increase corporate spending with local firms and experienced tremendous results. By taking an active role in the development and growth of our local and diverse small and mid-sized businesses, BD is showing buyers that what they seek may be found right in their backyard.

To visit the portal and access a variety of training videos, eligibility requirements, registration details, and other information visit degc.org/BuyDetroit.

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