Updated Purchasing Policy a Big Win For Local Businesses

It’s been years coming. For at least the last 20 years that I have been on Council local businesses have been calling, in some cases in near desperation, for greater support for local businesses and suppliers.

Years ago Dubbo City Council introduced a local purchasing policy that effectively gave a 2 per cent advantage on tenders for locally-owned businesses.  The reality is that policy was a token gesture by Council that didn’t achieve any meaningful increase in local purchasing.

Earlier this year I tabled a Mayoral Minute proposing a stronger local policy. After extensive consultation, the Dubbo Region has put together one of the most beneficial local purchasing policies out of any Council in NSW.

From now on, anything purchased by Council with a value of less than $10,000 must be bought locally. The only exception is if the product or service isn’t available locally. Goods or services under $150,000 now have a huge 10 per cent weight in their favour if the business is locally owned.  In other words, your Council is no longer just going to pay lip service to our local businesses.

Council must lead the way for our local community when buying locally.  It’s important to set a positive example to the rest of our community of the importance of backing ourselves. 

Added to that, in practical terms keeping every possible dollar in our local economy makes the Dubbo Region stronger.  This new policy is particularly needed in the current climate where we are headed into unchartered economic times.

The near-inevitable national recession doesn’t necessarily have to hit Dubbo as hard as other places in Australia.

When the first COVID-19 lockdown occurred, I was incredibly proud of our residents who deliberately went out of their way to back our local cafes and restaurants.

Locals visited the dubbo.com.au/updates website with enthusiasm to find out which local hospitality businesses were offering takeaways.  This alone kept a lot of our businesses going, enabling them to reopen once the lockdown was eased.

Now that Council has made the buy local commitment, I am also asking the community to also have a serious look at their own purchasing habits.

Ask yourselves, instead of buying online, can you find the same product in a local store? You can also take it a step further and find a store that is locally-owned. You may also find the personalised service and understanding of what you are looking for results in a better outcome.

Keeping locals employed and making sure our dollars remain in our region is good for all of us. It’s time we all started taking it seriously.

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Wellington residents don’t forget that I available for anyone to come and have a chat every Wednesday at Jespresso cafe from 9am - 11am.  It’s an informal setting and a great place for me to be able to meet locals and assist in any way I can, while meeting social distancing requirements.

Last Edited: 18 Aug 2020

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