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‘Buy Into the Circle’ can benefit everyone


In the time it takes to read this article, nearly $300,000 will have left the Greater Des Moines community. We lose $7.2 billion a year through purchases made from vendors that are not located in Greater Des Moines. That is $3.5 million every hour, or $58,333 every minute of every business day. The good news is that our community has an opportunity to retain some of that money and generate a sustainable stream of revenue for the area without any additional cost to individuals or businesses.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership launched the Buy Into the Circle campaign to raise awareness of the impact that spending decisions have on our community. If every business shifted just 5 percent of its current out-of-area purchases to companies within Greater Des Moines, we would see an influx of more than $360 million into the local economy. As those millions of dollars circulate, they would generate an economic impact of $568 million and create approximately 7,750 jobs.

How? If my company would obtain $1 million worth of contracts that are currently held by companies outside Greater Des Moines, I would have to hire one new salesperson, one new warehouse person and one administrative person. Add another $500,000 in sales and I would need to add another delivery truck and route driver and a van and service person. In addition, I would need to expand my warehouse and I would have increased needs for equipment. My company would use more energy. I would spend more on legal, insurance and accounting services — and I would pay more in property, payroll and income taxes, too.

The impact of your purchasing decisions for products and services is very real and the multiplier effect of every dollar spent in our community definitely affects the quality of life for you and our citizens.

As author Malcolm Gladwell explained in “The Tipping Point,” our community is on the verge of a great moment in its history. Economic vitality is all around us. Buy Into the Circle is a way to keep that momentum going and to help us create a sustainable future for our community.

The Buy Into the Circle campaign was introduced in April and, to date, nearly 200 companies have pledged to support this initiative. These businesses are reviewing their purchasing practices to determine which of their product and service purchases can be shifted to local companies — the very companies that employ our families, friends and neighbors. The best part about Buy Into the Circle is that everyone, businesses and individuals, can contribute. And in a time of budget cuts and possible tax increases, why wouldn’t you?

To learn more about the Buy Into the Circle campaign or to become a pledge company, visit www.buyintothecircle.com.

Bill Weidmaier is president of Iowa-Des Moines Supply Inc. and the chair of the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s Buy Into the Circle committee.

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