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Mayor Tim Keller Announces New City Initiative to ‘Buy Local’

New requirement will use local businesses to keep more money in Albuquerque economy.

July 27, 2018

Mayor Tim Keller has issued new guidance to increase the City of Albuquerque's use of local businesses for goods and services. As part of a commitment to buying local, the Keller Administration updated an instruction to require all City departments to get a bid from at least one local company for purchases that are subject to the new requirements.

The City’s Buy Local initiative takes a systems approach, linking more locally owned enterprises to the City’s large-scale purchasing of goods and services, as well as ensuring that economic development supports are shared with small, local and racially diverse enterprises.

“We have an opportunity to make a difference in Albuquerque’s economy by buying locally,” stated Mayor Keller. “Spending taxpayer money out of state rather than using local businesses is a structural job killer. While the City will always need to buy some goods and services outside of New Mexico, we want to keep as much of that money in our economy as we can by purchasing from businesses right here at home.”

To reduce red tape, the new policy increases the small purchase limit from $2,500 to $10,000. In addition to streamlining daily operations, this also makes it easier for local businesses to offer services and goods to the City. The City also started collecting demographic data on its vendors, using a modified W9 form. This will allow the City to analyze purchases by vendor type, develop industry-specific strategies, and establish spending goals with local businesses and businesses owned by women and people of color.

“We know that for every dollar we spend in-state, about 25 cents more stays in the local economy than if we spent that dollar out of the state. We hope that our City's other flagship institutions, who share our commitment to buying local, will join in this effort to transform our local economy,” said Synthia Jaramillo, Director of the City Economic Development Department. 

The City of Albuquerque is a member of the Healthy Neighborhoods Albuquerque Initiative, whose objective is to combine the local purchasing power of anchor institutions such the city, UNM, CNM and hospitals to do more business locally in order to build a more inclusive economy where all can prosper.

In an effort to better prepare local businesses to successfully become a city vendor, the City will now share a broad picture of expected bidding opportunities three to six months in advance of the formal posting of the bid or proposal. This will give local companies a sense of the market that the City has for various goods and services. For example, this summer, the City will issue a request for bids (RFB) for IT hardware. To increase access to these opportunities, all City community centers and libraries will have guidance and trained staff to help local companies sign up as a City vendor.

The Buy Local initiative is part of the Economic Development Department's broader efforts to create jobs and build on the strengths of our City's economy. Recently, the Economic Development Department released their plan for new economic development initiatives, including a focus on building our homegrown local and small businesses.

Companies interested in receiving notice of upcoming solicitations from the City can register at

City purchases can be viewed here