Lincoln, NE (March 4, 2021) Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird today signed an administrative regulation implementing the City’s new micropurchasing policy and thanked the City Council for its unanimous approval of the ordinance that supports it. Under the new regulation, City employees buying products or services under $10,000 are to purchase them from local businesses if the product or service is available at a reasonable price. The City regulation directing city purchasers to buy local is one of three initiatives to support local businesses that the Mayor discussed today.
“Throughout the pandemic, we have shared stories about the resilience and tenacity of Lincoln businesses,” said Mayor Gaylor Baird. “All of us can take pride in the way our businesses have adapted and innovated to keep their employees and customers safe. Their efforts have been pivotal both to protecting public health and to advancing us on the road to economic recovery and renewal. Lincoln’s economic recovery and renewal is a top priority for my administration. Our Lincoln Forward initiative is zeroing in on new ways to help Lincoln businesses grow and not only recover, but also thrive in the year to come.”
The Mayor said the City’s buy local micropurchasing initiative grew out of the Mayor’s Economic Recovery Task Force and related partnerships with the One-Percent-More-Pledge. The initiative encourages local companies to sign a pledge agreeing to spend at least one percent more locally in 2021. This effort was championed by the chairs of the Economic Recovery Task Force – Angie Muhleisen, President and CEO of Union Bank and Trust, and Ava Thomas, President and Publisher of the Lincoln Journal Star – as well as Wendy Birdsall, President of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce.
“Purchasing supplies and products from other local businesses makes our entire community stronger by promoting local employment and developing local supply chains,” Birdsall said. “Businesses all over the city of all types and in all kinds of industries have taken the pledge, multiplying the purchasing power of our community.” So far, 52 businesses have signed the pledge, and others can sign it at lcoc.com/one-percent-pledge.
The third initiative is EmployLNK, a project of the City and the Chamber through their collaborative, the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development (LPED). EmployLNK helps match businesses seeking employees and workers seeking new opportunities. One of EmployLNK’s projects was a series of drive-through career fairs in May, July, and September. More than 1,500 hundred packets of job information from almost 75 employers was distributed to help reconnect people to work. Another drive-through event is planned for April. More information is available at selectlincoln.org/lincoln-life/employlnk.
Related to EmployLNK is the MyLink app, created as a community service project by a Leadership Lincoln class. It provides information about resources and support available to job seekers, including child care assistance. The free MyLink app has been downloaded more than 10,000 times and has over 1,000 monthly users. The app and website are available at myLNK.app. New features include a daily calendar of free medical care and food distribution. The information is also available in Arabic, Spanish, Somali, and Vietnamese.