Philadelphia Anchors for Growth and Equity (PAGE) is a partnership between the Economy League, the City of Philadelphia and more than a dozen Philadelphia-area institutions that works to increase local purchasing by large institutional buyers to grow Philadelphia businesses, strengthen the local economy, create jobs, and build wealth.
Today, the 34 universities and hospitals located in Philadelphia together spend $5.3 billion on goods and services every year, but nearly half of these dollars are currently spent outside of Philadelphia. Analysis of the local business landscape suggests that at least $530 million of anchor dollars currently being spent outside of the region align with local market supply. Capturing just 25% of this half-billiondollar opportunity would translate into 1,250 new manufacturing jobs and 4,000 indirect jobs in Philadelphia.
If you are interested in participating in the initiative as a supplier, buyer, or support organization, please complete this form to let us know how we can connect you to our work!
The Economy League is leveraging its deep knowledge of the Philadelphia market and broad network of stakeholders to provide insight into institutional purchasing practices, reduce barriers to participation for local businesses, engage major suppliers, and catalyze the creation of a supportive ecosystem.
The Economy League’s deep analytical expertise is generating insights into institutional purchasing trends in the
The Economy League is in a unique position as the City’s only trusted partner with whom anchors are willing to share actual purchasing data. The Economy League will leverage this opportunity to provide insight into the traditionally opaque world of institutional purchasing. Through PAGE, the Economy League is collecting annual purchasing and supplier data from all anchors to aggregate and share upcoming contract opportunities at participating anchor institutions, identify challenges and barriers to local purchasing, and evaluate the implementation of best practices by institutions.
Reducing Barriers for Local Businesses
The Economy League is working closely with a broad range of partners to address barriers that reduce local business participation in institutional supply chains.
Through PAGE, the Economy League regularly convenes a cross-section of anchor staff (procurement directors, supplier diversity directors, and government relations leaders) and an extensive roster of local government, nonprofit, and business organizations. This unprecedented collaboration allows the PAGE team to advance creative solutions that lower barriers to local businesses including a lack of information, inadequate access to the right decision makers, long sales cycles, high bonding requirements, and insufficient business capacity.
Engaging Major Suppliers
The Economy League is leveraging the collective power of PAGE members to engage major suppliers in local purchasing work.
Many anchor institutions rely on large, national companies for a significant share of the goods and services they purchase, presenting a major barrier to localization efforts. PAGE is tackling this challenge by leveraging the collective voice of participating institutions. The Economy League validated this approach by working with two anchors to incorporate local purchasing language in their food service RFP, resulting in significant local supplier engagement by a national food service company. The Economy League is also working with PAGE partners to catalyze the creation or relocation of high-impact businesses by pooling anchor demand.
Ensuring a Robust Ecosystem to Support Local Purchasing Work
Philadelphia is blessed with an extensive network of business support organizations, capital providers, and workforce development organizations that can deliver critical resources and wraparound services for local purchasing efforts. At the same time government officials at the local and state levels are hard at work advancing policies to increase local and diverse purchasing. However, those resources have not always been coordinated to address the gap in local purchasing opportunities for local businesses. The Economy League is working with PAGE partners to identify gaps in the regional ecosystem and coordinate the necessary resources to enable local businesses to take advantage of anchor supply chains opportunities.
BACKGROUND & RESOURCES
Prior to its adoption by the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia as the organization's first project in the Shared Solutions portfolio, PAGE was incubated in the City Controller’s Office from 2014 until 2017. The City Controller’s Policy Unit published two reports analyzing the economic promise of an anchor purchasing initiative:
The Survey of Current and Potential Impact of Local Procurement by Philadelphia Anchor Institutions (January 2014) quantifies the potential economic impact of a city-wide city procurement strategy.
Anchoring Our Local Economy: Developing a Local Procurement Strategy for Philadelphia’s Higher Education and Healthcare Institutions (April 2015) identifies the most promising categories for localizing anchor spend.
This year, Maryia Khandros wrote the article Philadelphia Anchors for Growth and Equity: Applying the Lean Startup Methodology to Build a Financially Sustainable Anchor Collaborative published by Metropolitan Universities. The article provides an overview of the Philadelphia local purchasing landscape, defines the Lean Startup methodology and looks at the application of the methodology through the lens of PAGE.