What is Co-Purchase Colorado? Co-Purchase Colorado (CPC) is an initiative of Center for Community Wealth Building (CCWB) designed to leverage congregations’ buying power to create meaningful change in the local economy. CCWB is recruiting congregations across the Front Range who want to shift their spending to embody their social and racial justice values, specifically by purchasing needed goods and services from local, BIPOC-owned, immigrant-owned, woman-owned, LGTBQ-owned, and veteran-owned businesses.
When was CPC established?CPC was launched in October 2020 and is being co-created by CCWB and eleven partner congregations. It is modeled after the Community Purchasing Alliance (CPA) in Washington, D.C. that started in 2011 with 12 entities coming together to collectively purchase energy. Today, they are a self-sustaining purchasing cooperative with over 100 members. In 2020, they collaborated on $15.1 million in contracts andpurchases. CPC is just getting started, but the intent is to grow!
How does it work?
Participating congregations and businesses agree to a set of Values and Expectations to indicate their intention to engage and ensure that everyone is on aligned.
Congregations share their needs for goods and services with CCWB, indicating purchasing areas they are open to shifting from their current vendors. The intent is to shift spending away from unsatisfactory vendors, and shift spending away from corporate vendors. CCWB is not trying to shift spending away from satisfactory, locally-owned businesses that a congregation utilizes.
CCWB uses congregation data to determine needed goods and services and then builds relationships with vendors in those categories that embody the values of CPC and are ready and able to meet the needs of congregations.
After brief analysis, CPC businesses are listed on CCWB’s website, where congregation partners (and all website visitors) have access to relevant company information. The congregations are encouraged to reach out to businesses directly and mention CPC. CCWB meets monthly with participating congregations to encourage their utilization of CPC businesses, to troubleshoot any issues, and to identify new categories of purchase.
As congregations identify contract spending opportunities, CCWB will create and circulate Requests for Proposals to interested businesses that meet the defined congregational need.
How does my business get connected to CPC?CCWB finds businesses through the Refer A Local Business form on its website, by searching various directories, through word-of-mouth, and from referrals from small business capacity building organizations. If your business is interested in connecting to CPC, the first step is to complete the Refer A Local Business form or contact Julian Valencia, CCWB’s Small Business Director at firstname.lastname@example.org. Julian will follow-up by reaching out to you with next steps.
What local businesses are good fits for CPC?
BIPOC-owned, immigrant-owned, woman-owned, LGTBQIA+-owned, and/or veteran-owned local businesses are CPC’s focus.
Businesses that fall within the prioritized industry categories of CPC congregations. These needs are constantly changing and updated on the CPC website.
Businesses that are open and affirming to the diverse communities that our congregation partners serve (racially diverse, immigrant, refugee, LGBTQIA+)
Businesses that have capacity to meet congregational needs, are in compliance with applicable industry regulations, have a history of positive customer satisfaction, and are committed to paying a living wage and investing in the well-being of their workforce.
How much does it cost to be a part of CPC?There are currently no fees for congregations or participating businesses. If CPC is successful in terms of meeting the needs and interests of congregations and helping local businesses increase their revenues, participating businesses and congregations will explore creating a structure that allows CPC to be a self-sustaining purchasing cooperative that earns revenues through membership fees and a percentage of the contracts and jobs brokered between partners.
How do congregations find out about my business? Once CCWB has become acquainted with your business and there is mutual agreement that CPC presents a good opportunity for your business, your contact information will be shared with participating congregations. Additionally, your business will be listed on the CCWB website by industry. Congregations will reach out to you directly.
How will CPC know whether it is having an impact? Each congregation will complete a quarterly report on how many CPC-referred businesses they contacted, as well as how much they spent with CPC-referred businesses.
What if my business is not a good fit for CPC? One of CCWB’s primary goals is to connect local, BIPOC-owned small businesses to new markets. We will meet you where you are and provide or connect you to services that align with your interests. CCWB also works with larger institutions, such as hospitals, municipalities, and colleges and universities. It is CCWB’s intention to also connect interested businesses to these larger institutions.
What else is available to me through CPC? CCWB works to build relationships based on trust and integrity to achieve its vision of a people-owned, inclusive metro Denver economy that catalyzes prosperous and resilient communities free from racism and injustice. CCWB gets to know communities and partners in order to bring this vision to reality. Resources and strategies are developed alongside partners to overcome barriers to opportunity. CCWB hopes that your business sees value in being a part of this vision.
How can I help CPC reach its potential?
Refer high quality businesses to CCWB.
Refer congregations to CCWB.
Provide feedback to CCWB on what’s working well and what’s challenging about CPC.
Provide high quality goods or services to all your customers, as word of mouth is one of the best ways to grow your customer base. Similarly, a bad experience with your business affects the entire cohort of CPC businesses, as it will result in congregations being less likely to connect with other referred businesses. We are in this together. We are stronger together.