PHILADELPHIA POLICY (“Love Your Neighbor”)
With many aspects of the iCovest Market, it may not be possible to procure what is needed locally. Of course, trade with other countries can also be beneficial in supporting the local economy in poor and vulnerable areas abroad that rely heavily on international buyers. The unfortunate reality also remains that there are instances when goods produced abroad may actually utilize more environmentally friendly methods of production than neighboring domestic suppliers.
During the iCovest Market Request for Proposal (RFP) process, we promulgate compliance with sustainable practices, and in the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) compliance is contractual. All factors considered, iCovest Market prefers a local and sustainable supply network to demonstrate organic growth. However, when products/services are procured from beyond our immediate communities, additional steps are taken to verify the “green” in the supply chain and to ensure that local communities benefit to the greatest extent possible.
Although iCovest Market will typically verify the locality of the vendor base, preferential sourcing from local Relationships is driven by more than geographic proximity (less than a 50-mile radius). Where local Relationships are unable to offer superior CoVesting Value, local Relationships must offer qualitative factors such as: environmental and social criteria of suppliers, product quality, delivery, service, after-redemption support and terms that comprise a total package which gives them equal or superior overall competitive value versus their larger franchise/chain competitors.
In instances where the local vendor base does not currently maintain such qualitative standards, iCovest Market will work collaboratively with such suppliers to develop and implement sustainability standards by sharing its own samples of supplier code of conduct; social and environmental mission, etc., if they do not currently exist; or will set performance objectives to improve upon current standards to help the local economy.
With respect to honoring fiscal stewardship obligations to its Relationships, iCovest Market may adjust or waive certain values to make certain services accessible and affordable, most particularly with respect to procurement decisions where heavy emphasis is given to environmental impact factors over pure CoVesting Value.
Certain credentialed Non-governmental (NGOs) and/or tax-exempt organizations may qualify for substantial CoVested value reductions and incentives more than for-profit organizations.
iCovest Market does not discriminate in selection preferences regarding race or other government-sponsored social-welfare programs. We reward the most qualified Relationships.
- Keep it in the Family, Friends of the Family, and Neighbors: Locally-owned businesses, in comparison to nationally-owned businesses, thermodynamically keep more of the energy circulating within and through their communities by utilizing local businesses, service providers, and farms that continually strengthen the economic base of the community.
- Loyalty: Communicating commitment … and standing firm with those convictions improves an organization’s public image of integrity. Given the choice between two similar products, people will choose the one with “green” & “sustainable” properties over the conventional product (all other factors being equal).
- Vested Interest in Community Service: Non-profit organizations receive an average 250% more support from smaller business owners than they do from large businesses.
- Genus Loci (Sense of Place): People who go on vacation generally seek out destinations that offer them a sense of being “someplace,” not just “anyplace.” One-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of the distinctive character of the community mosaic.
- Reduce Environmental Impact: Local purchases require less transportation, and businesses that generally set up shop in town or city centers as opposed to developing on the fringe generally contribute less to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution.
- Create More Jobs: Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally (+/- two thirds of the United States) and, in the local community, provide the most jobs to residents.
- Better Service: Local businesses often hire people with a better understanding of the products they are selling and provide better service to the customers through building Relationships.
- Community Investment & CoVestment: Local business owners who live in their community are less likely to leave and are more vested in the community’s future by Investing & CoVesting their money where they live.
- Tax Efficiency: Local businesses in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure Investment & CoVestment, and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally-owned stores entering the community.
- Buy vs. Sold: A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based not on a national sales plan but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices and is the best way to ensure innovation and low CoVesting values over the long-term.
- Local Prosperity: A growing body of economic research shows that in an increasingly homogenized world, entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to Invest & CoVest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character. Under current market conditions, it is often perceived as cheaper to buy distantly produced goods. Larger multinational companies use their economies of scale to attract consumers to purchase goods manufactured from afar by offering lower prices. Yet, the added costs are not always factored in: transport, packaging, facilities, inspection, and their associated environmental costs.