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Newark Anchor Collaborative Holds Inaugural Local Vendor Summit, Hosted by Prudential Financial

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The Newark Anchor Collaborative (NAC), a Newark Alliance initiative, held a vendor summit on Friday, March 29 in support of the City of Newark’s Hire.Buy.Live program to connect local suppliers with anchor organizations and procurement professionals. Prudential Financial, an NAC member, hosted this inaugural event at its offices on 655 Broad Street.

The NAC Vendor Summit was designed to advance equitable and inclusive economic development through the procurement of local goods and services. The event served as a platform to connect suppliers already working with NAC member organizations to other anchor organizations around the city.

“The Newark Anchor Collaborative Local Vendor Summit is an important step forward in our collective strategy to strengthen Newark’s economy by creating a culture in which Newark businesses give priority to purchasing goods and services from other Newark businesses,” said Ras J. Baraka, Mayor of the City of Newark. “This Summit will enable anchor institutions to discover and connect with Newark suppliers. In the process, the money generated by this local procurement will stay in Newark, enable local businesses to grow and create jobs for residents. Historically, Newark anchors have purchased little from local businesses. The Newark Anchor Collaborative, Prudential Financial and the Newark Alliance are changing that dynamic and helping to create the equitable growth that we all seek.”

“We were very excited to participate in NAC’s first vendor summit,” said Aisha Glover, CEO of Newark Alliance. “We believe this, and future, events can become catalysts to create new opportunities for local suppliers and to inform decision makers with purchasing power within Newark’s corporations and anchor institutions. We have strong local options here and we intend to close the gap between the small business community and the corporate/anchor community.”

In 2014, Prudential engaged the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), a national not-for-profit committed to promoting economic prosperity in inner cities through private sector engagement, to analyze the size and potential of local procurement opportunities in Newark by evaluating data from the city’s six anchor organizations. The ICIC study found that the six anchors collectively increased their procurement from local businesses, from two percent to 10 percent, an additional $33 million would flow into Newark local businesses annually.

“As a founding member of the Newark Anchor Collaborative, Prudential was honored to host the inaugural Local Vendor Summit, supporting Newark 2020’s Buy Local initiative and Newark’s business community,” said Donna Harris, Chief Procurement Officer at Prudential. “The summit, demonstrates Prudential’s commitment to the City and our dedication to the work begun with our commissioning of the ICIC Study.”

The event featured the following:

  • Welcome remarks from Rutgers University – Newark Chancellor Nancy Cantor, who co-chairs the Newark Anchor Collaborative
  • Procurement leader panel on buying local strategies
  • Panel showcasing successful anchor/local vendor partnerships
  • Opportunity Exchange among anchor procurement representatives and suppliers
  • Networking reception Presentation of the 2019 Vendor Summit Award to MZM Construction

“We designed this event to stimulate and cultivate relationships between the business community and the abundant number of service providers located in the greater Newark community,” said Shané Harris, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility at Prudential and Executive Director and Secretary at The Prudential Foundation. “It’s important to be aware of the resources that are available in your own backyard, you might be surprised by their offerings.”

Rutgers University – Newark’s Dr. Kevin Lyons, who is Buy Local Coordinator for NAC, sees great promise that this event “will help to shift the practice of purchasing culture in Newark.” Informed by his extensive research in Newark as Associate Professor, Supply Chain Archeology and Director, Public Private Community Partnership Program at Rutgers Business School, Lyons says, “By highlighting Newark suppliers of goods and services and recognizing their excellence, we will allow for connections that will keep investment circulating within the city.”

Also attending the summit was Newark Mayor Ras Baraka.

Other Newark Anchor Collaborative member organizations involved in the vendor summit include the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), RJW Barnabas Health, and Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), among others.

About Newark Anchor Collaborative
The NAC is a network of anchor institutions based in Newark that have committed to shared strategies that drive inclusive economic growth. It is an initiative of the Newark Alliance whose mission is to work in partnership to make Newark a better, safer place to work, live, learn, play and do business.

About Newark Alliance
The Newark Alliance is a nonprofit organization founded by leaders from some of New Jersey's major corporations to support the broader needs of the Newark community. Since its inception in 1999, the organization has worked in partnership with a wide-range of stakeholders to leverage Newark’s competitive assets into even greater economic activity for the city, the region, and beyond. Its mission is to make Newark a better and safer place to live, work, learn, play and do business by collaborating on issues of high priority to advance Newark's growth, prosperity and success. For more information, visit www.Newark-Alliance.org.