As a company, we have just finished up a season of providing proposals to school districts who have applied for E-rate funds. For those not familiar with E-rate, this is a way for schools to provide Internet/carrier services and upgrade networking infrastructure (voice, video and data) through a process that subsidizes the costs through taxes collected on carrier services. Funding is based on the level of poverty of the population served by the individual school or school district.
The bids or RFPs are public and thus attract attention from many vendors – even from those outside the area (such as the Bay Area). We noticed that in many of these bid situations, school districts were opting to use businesses outside of the local area. i.e. not using companies who are owned and operated locally in the Central Valley. (Kudos to Modesto City Schools who did put in a factor in their RFP to reward businesses located in Stanislaus County.)
I am a proponent of a competitive bidding process but wanted to provide some reasons why a company should do their best to do business locally – whether a school district or not.
First, you keep the dollars in the local economy. Local businesses recycle a much larger share of their revenue back into the local economy which in turn enriches the entire community. Second, local businesses create more jobs locally which again improves the local economy. Third, local businesses are vested in the community and thus more likely to provide good service because their reputation is on the line. A company out of town doesn’t have to worry about bumping into someone at the local mall, grocery store or high school basketball game, and worry about bad service they provided to a customer. If you won’t take my word for it, check out this Time article expounding on these benefits and more – http://content.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1903632,00.html.
Telcion is Central Valley locally owned and operated with employees that live in the Central Valley. If you would like to discuss how Telcion can provide your organization with a networking solution provided locally, please contact us.