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Coast part of top-ranked recovery effort

Coast part of top-ranked recovery effort

The Coastal Communities Social Procurement Initiative (CCSPI) is one of Canada’s Top 100 Recovery Projects according to Future of Good, a digital communication and sharing platform. On Dec. 1, Future of Good selected CCSPI as a program helping communities not just return to normal from the COVID-19 pandemic but to build back for the decade to come.
Several Coast local governments and the Sunshine Coast Regional Economic Development Organization (SCREDO) are involved with CCSPI. The member-led initiative provides its 20 partner organizations with training, expertise and support to integrate social procurement into their operations. Social procurement helps harness the purchasing of these organizations to generate greater benefits for their local economy. It does this by ensuring that the value of buying goods and services from area suppliers is recognized when local governments tender their purchases. With negative impacts on businesses of all sizes due to the pandemic, the economic importance of “buy local” commitments from governments, as well as individuals, has increased.
“We’re thrilled that CCSPI has been selected as a top recovery project,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, CCSPI co-chair. “We began this initiative in 2016 to improve the health of our communities and the strength of our economies by changing the culture of public sector procurement. This work is now more important than
The Sunshine Coast Regional District and the Town of Gibsons were founding members of CCSPI. The District of Sechelt has recently joined. Since the initiative was introduced, CCSPI members have realized over $25 million in procurement spending that had additional community benefits. While numbers related to the impact on the Sunshine Coast are not yet available, SCREDO’s Executive Director, Colin Stansfield, said that at this point, it is important to understand the opportunity that exists “when we align local purchasing with the achievement of regional community goals.”
“The exciting piece is that it isn’t only limited to things like construction. It happens with everyday purchases, whether those are office supplies or cleaning and landscaping services. Every decision to spend a dollar in the local community has the opportunity to create more value than a decision that is based only on pricing,” said Stansfield.
CCSPI participants have access to professional development, sourcing templates, case studies, impact measurement tools and expert consultation support on social procurement practices. Expanded training sessions for staff of Coast local governments, led by SCRD staffers who have completed these courses, are being booked for early 2021. Another part of this training will involve communicating with local business owners and managers to let them know how they can benefit from the initiative. Businesses interested in taking part should visit for details and contact information.
Connie Jordison

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