Since launch membership has grown to over 20 communities, with potential to scale into a provincial-wide initiative.
Strategic procurement is an opportunity for communities to leverage tax dollars to achieve social, economic and environmental objectives aligned with community values. Since 2016, a working group of local government leaders have collaborated on the concept of a Community Benefit Hub – a cost effective framework for communities to integrate strategic procurement into public-spending.
This Community Benefit Hub brings together Cumberland, Ladysmith, Cowichan Valley Regional District, Gibsons, Powell River, Tofino, Campbell River, Qualicum Beach and the City of Victoria to develop template policies and frameworks for strategic procurement adaptable to more than 60 local governments. The project includes providing expertise, materials and training support to local governments, as well as supply side outreach and training. An evaluation framework will be developed to compare results and ensure best practices are shared between communities.
Launched as the Coastal Communities Social Procurement Initiative (ccspi.ca) in 2018, the project is anticipated to establish the region as a knowledge hub for strategic procurement. Project benefits include increased opportunity for small and medium enterprises, increased targeted employment and training opportunities, supply-chain diversification, and strengthening community outcomes through taxpayer funded systems. In June 2021, the BC Government scaled the program province-wide. Phase 1, of the ICET- supported project, was completed in July 2021.