The City of Long Beach announced the launch of its newest platform and virtual marketplace, Long Beach Buys, via an Instagram post, with the goal of revitalizing businesses in Long Beach.
The post was released on June 8, 2022, bringing awareness to the new virtual platform that is free for all current and prospective businesses to join. The software also allows City officials to effectively engage with local, diverse, and disadvantaged businesses.
Long Beach Buys placed citystaff in a position to effectively engage with local, diverse, and disadvantaged businesses while increasing opportunities for prospective businesses to contract with the City using user-friendly and up-to-date technology or a quicker onboarding process.
The platform is also part of a comprehensive evaluation and reform program for the betterment of the City’s procurement process. This includes other endorsements such as the “Everyone In” Initiative and the Framework for Racial Equity and Reconciliation, programs designed to remove barriers and foster economic opportunities for Black and other historically marginalized business communities.
“This new portal will help diverse local businesses become City vendors and make the process easier than ever,” said Robert Garcia., Mayor of Long Beach.
The data and reporting module provided by the platform, includes reports on vendor demographics and other statistics, supporting the tracking of progress on equity goals and increasing transparency with the public on the City’s procurement activities.
“We’re making it easier for all types of businesses to connect to possible opportunities with the City,” Garcia said.
Registering allows potential vendors to submit proposals to the many various opportunities with the City.
The system even marked a milestone for the city’s tracking and management, making it easier for staff to effectively manage contracts.
To raise awareness for businesses in the local area, City staff provided direct outreach to over 5,000 small businesses within the City’s business licensing database, in addition to email notifications to over 25,000 current vendors.
This effort was made possible in part by funding from the Long Beach Recovery Act, a plan to fund economic and public health initiatives for Long Beach residents, workers and businesses critically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Portions of the funding were allocated in order to support innovation and improvement for the City’s appropriations.
The City will also be hosting three free informational meetings to help local businesses become familiar with the Long Beach Buys platform. Meetings will be held via Zoom with interpretations available in Spanish, Khmer and Tagalog.
By Carter Williams II
Photo credit: P2S Inc.