10 business thingSeveral years ago, the Public Works Commission set as a strategic goal increasing our local vendor capacity and engaging local vendors on the many opportunities available to them to provide services and goods to PWC. This came after both hearing concerns of local businesses and many incidents where PWC had to re-bid opportunities because of low or no response.

Among our many initiatives was starting an event to invite local businesses to learn about the millions of dollars we spend on goods and services and future plans and capital projects that businesses could position themselves to be a part of.

 PWC held a “Building Business Rally” in 2016 and 2017. Because of its success, in 2018, we coordinated an expanded Regional Building Business Rally, partnering with nearly 30 organizations and agencies on the event with the hopes of increasing local spending and encouraging local economic development. The Rally is a unique opportunity as a “one-stop” shop for local businesses where they connect to organizations that have money to spend and are looking for local businesses to spend it with.

Since May of 2018, the momentum of this effort has continued. Our Building Local Vendor Capacity Committee set our vision to “maximize local purchasing and procurement opportunities from within our region, thereby enhancing the wealth and health of the community” and our mission to use community collaboration to enhance our local supplier base.

 Collaboration and education are key to our success, and with the support of the Cumberland County’s Mayor’s Coalition, January has been proclaimed as Building Local Business month, with the month culminating with the fourth annual Building Business Rally on Thursday, Jan. 30.

Organizations participating in the Rally are Cumberland County and Fayetteville’s largest buyers, representing over $1 billion in opportunities. They include Cape Fear Valley Hospital System; Cumberland County; Cumberland County Schools; the city of Fayetteville, including FAST and Community Development; Fayetteville State University; Fayetteville Technical Community college; the town of Hope Mills; the town of Spring Lake; North Carolina Department of Transportation; Prince Charles Holdings; PWC; and Vector Fleet Maintenance, which manages the city of Fayetteville fleet.

 Some of the opportunities that will be presented at the rally are PWC’s ongoing needs installing water and sewer services, maintaining our current system and annual repairs and maintenance and upgrades of our electric system. Cumberland County Schools estimates spending $10 million a year on instructional custodial supplies, information technology, and construction, while the town of Hope Mills projects it will spend over $34 million on facilities, public works, transportation, public safety and  stormwater and recreation projects.

The Jan. 30 event utilizes the local business resources of the Greater Fayetteville Chamber, the Small Business and Technology Development Center, and Cumberland County N.C. Works to help businesses find opportunities, structure their business for success and find a qualified workforce.

 To register for the event, which will be held at the Ramada Plaza on Owen Drive from 2-6 p.m., visit www.faybids.com. Bookmark that site as it is a one-stop-shop for local contracting opportunities and local classes and workshops that can benefit your business.

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