Government Procurement Card (P-Card) is a tool used by government employees to make small purchases on behalf of their government agency or department. These cards offer a convenient and efficient way to pay for goods and services. What many people seldom realize is that Government Procurement Card holders wield significant power and influence in their local economy.
When Government Procurement Card holders purchase from a small and local business, or from a small, minority-owned, or women-owned business, they are supporting these businesses and contributing to the overall economic health of their community.
Let's say a government agency in a city needs to purchase office supplies. The Government Procurement Card holder has the option to purchase from a large national retailer or a locally-owned office supply store. If they choose to purchase from the national retailer, the money spent will likely leave the local economy, as the retailer's profits will go to their headquarters located elsewhere.
On the other hand, if the Government Procurement Card holder chooses to purchase from the local office supply store, the money spent will stay within the community, supporting the store's employees and contributing to the overall economic health of the city.
Furthermore, if the local office supply store is a small or minority-owned business, the Government Procurement Card holder's decision to purchase from them can have an even greater impact on the local economy. The store may use the money earned from the purchase to expand its business, hire additional employees, or purchase goods and services from other local businesses, creating a multiplier effect within the community.
In this way, p-card holders can use their purchasing power to make a difference in their local economy, supporting small and local businesses and contributing to economic growth and job creation.
For instance, in 2019, the NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) launched the "NYC Buy Local" initiative to encourage city agencies to use their Government Procurement Cards to purchase from local businesses.
As part of the initiative, the NYCEDC created a database of local businesses that accepted Government Procurement Card payments, making it easier for government agencies to find and purchase from these businesses. The initiative also provided training for city employees on the benefits of buying locally and the impact of their purchasing decisions on the local economy.
By the end of the first year of the initiative, 60% of city agencies had made at least one Government Procurement Card purchase from a local business, and the city spent over $130 million with local businesses through Government Procurement Card purchases in 2019.
As a Government Procurement Card holder, it's important to realize the impact that your small and simple transactions can have. By choosing to buy from local, small, or minority- or women-owned businesses, you have the power to shape and strengthen your city's local economy. It's easy to overlook the significance of these choices, but they can make a big difference in supporting and promoting economic growth in your community.