Tim Keller
Mayor | Albuquerque, NM

Buy Local: How Government Spending Can Create Jobs and Support the Economy

Idea Category: Jobs and Entrepreneurship, Smart Government


In New Mexico alone, over $2 billion in government procurement dollars trickled to out-of-state companies in two years. This problem is replicated in varying degrees all across the nation. Even when local firms are ready and willing to bid on government contracts, loopholes in the procurement code can encourage governments to hire out-of-state firms. This limits the economic impact state spending has on the local economy.


When state and local businesses buy local, money flows directly into the local economy creating jobs, building tax revenue, reducing the ecological impacts of transport, and increasing food security. Our recent study found a clear path for government to contract more with local businesses to create thousands of permanent jobs, while also building tax revenue. We produced the first report that provides a snapshot to the public and policymakers of in-state and out-of-state purchasing by state agencies, municipalities, counties and school districts. The report provides a roadmap of doable best practices and can be replicated nationally. We have conducted a series of trainings to connect procurement officials with local businesses, and we will introduce legislation to close procurement loopholes that incentivize out-of-state spending.

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