December 13, 2021
Contact: Lindsi Mailler
Easthampton Commits to More Inclusive Public Procurement Practices
Easthampton, MA – Easthampton today announced it has committed to making public contracting more accessible for small, women, and minority-led businesses by reducing the barriers firms face when doing business with Easthampton. This commitment was made at the National League of Cities (NLC) City Summit as part of the City Innovation Ecosystems (CIE) program.
“As we know, there is no justice without economic justice. Increasing our engagement with entrepreneurs of color is critical. With the support and resources of the League of Cities, we have the opportunity to put our focus and attention to first understanding the barriers to participation in our procurement process and then to take action to remove those barriers.” Stated City Councilor, Lindsey Rothschild.
The CIE program, an initiative of the National League of Cities (NLC), helps cities adopt policies, programs, and practices to give underrepresented entrepreneurs more opportunities for economic advancement. Participants select an area of focus for their programs to support economic growth in their communities. In its third year, this network has grown to include more than 175 cities, 200 local partners, and $100 million in committed resources.
Easthampton has selected an area of focus around inclusive public procurement and has pledged to take action to reduce barriers to obtaining city contracts for businesses owned by communities with disparate rates of success. In cities across the country, disparities exist in the number of contracts and dollars going to small and minority-led firms relative to their overall availability in the community. Furthermore, many of these firms struggle to navigate complex and cumbersome government processes or may not even be aware of the opportunities to do business with the government. As businesses recover from COVID-19, winning a contracting opportunity with the local government can be a much-needed boost to revenue for small firms. It can be the ingredient that helps them expand their business.
Easthampton joins 59 other cities from across the country that has made 78 commitments. As part of its participation in the CIE program, Easthampton will receive direct technical assistance, information sharing with other cities, and financial support to help implement its program. Technical assistance will be provided by the Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab .
“Leaders of America’s cities, towns, and villages recognize that racial and gender equity are key ingredients to economic growth in communities,” said Clarence E. Anthony, CEO and Executive Director of NLC. “We look forward to working with new members of the City Innovation Ecosystems program to bring their commitments to fruition and create economies in which everyone wins.”
The CIE program is made possible in partnership with and support from Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. For more information about the program, click here.