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Rising Out Of This Recession And Moving Forward

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My city was hit hard by the severe economic recession and was plagued by a boom-and-bust cycle that failed our hard-working residents and families for the last several years.

But Phoenix is rising out of this recession, and to move forward, our city's economic blueprint will depend on the success of our local and small businesses.

That's why the Phoenix City Council and I passed a program this year to make it easier for local and small businesses to compete for city contracts.

By looking to our own home-grown companies and fellow Arizonans before taking business beyond our state lines, the Phoenix economy will benefit from increased job opportunities and revenues that stay here, thus ensuring the success of our own local businesses and communities.

Under our new local-first procurement policy, Phoenix will look first toward a local business when purchasing goods and services under $50,000. The city will set up a vendor management system that allows businesses to register online to receive active notification of city procurements that specifically impact their businesses.

Awarding a greater number of city contracts to local businesses will spur economic growth and pave the way for increased innovation.

In addition, we have approved a user-friendly and integrated way for developers to electronically submit plans directly to the city. In the past, paper building plans were required and architects and engineers had to print and deliver multiple sets of plans to the city for review. Emerging technology now allows for actual submittal and review of building plans electronically using the internet, customized plan review software, high-speed desktop computers and large monitors.

By implementing a local-first procurement policy in conjunction with an online method to streamline the process, more local businesses will be able to directly contribute to the Phoenix economy and ultimately, contribute to its success and their own.

Keeping city sales tax revenue local is mutually beneficial for both local businesses and the City of Phoenix itself.

For every $100 spent at a locally-owned business, $73 goes to the local economy and $27 leaves. For every $100 spent at a non-locally owned business, $43 goes to the local economy and $57 leaves.

When you do your shopping in Phoenix, taxes from the merchandise you buy goes directly to the city's General Fund. City sales taxes are about 40 percent of total General Fund revenue, which pays for city services such as police and fire protection, parks, libraries, senior centers and street maintenance.

That is a huge boost for our community and our local economy.

The development of a stronger Phoenix economy requires the involvement of local businesses as they are the engine that drives our city.

The Phoenix economy has demonstrated remarkable resilience in light of the economic downturn and now we have the opportunity to rebuild, reshape and strengthen its foundation.

Together, the Phoenix economy and local businesses can work together, grow together and thrive together.