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Made-on-Vancouver-Island initiative gives smaller firms chance to earn municipal business

Social procurement expansion funding to provide training for public-sector purchasers
Supplying goods and services to the City of Victoria and other municipal governments may become more open with the help of the fledgling B.C. Social Procurement Initiative. (Black Press Media file photo)

Small and medium-sized businesses could have a greater chance to win local government contracts, under the expansion of a provincial program.

The British Columbia Social Procurement Initiative is being provided $500,000 by the province of B.C. to raise awareness of the program and run training workshops for public-sector purchasers and local businesses. The aim is to encourage local governments and organizations to team up, and give them the tools and training to make purchasing decisions that focus on achieving greater community value and outcomes as much as on obtaining the lowest price.

Mayor Lisa Helps, co-chair of the initiative’s steering committee, called social procurement a new approach to economic development.

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“Public-sector spending represents a very large portion of Vancouver Island’s economy, and how we spend those funds matters,” she said in a release. “Social procurement enables public-sector entities to procure goods and services in line with the values of their communities and to the benefit of their local economies.”

Investing in local communities and businesses is more important than ever as a way to build a stronger pandemic recovery, added Victoria-Beacon Hill MLA Grace Lore.

“It’s really exciting to see this project, which began locally here in Victoria and on Vancouver Island, expanding provincewide,” she said.

To learn more about the British Columbia Social Procurement Initiative, visit To sign up for a free introduction to BCSPI and social procurement, happening at 2 p.m. on July 7, head over to


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About the Author: Greater Victoria News Staff

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