In economic development, the new companies we attract often make the headlines, but growing locally owned businesses transforms our community for the better. Its these success stories that make our community unique and that we want to see more of.


To support this, our town, city and county governments, educational institutions, PWC, and health care providers are combining combing efforts to create a conduit of opportunity for small businesses and new entrepreneurs.


The upcoming Building Business Rally is focused on keeping more of our tax dollars here in our community.


Combined, these major organizations spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year, often having to go outside Fayetteville and Cumberland County to meet their procurement needs. In essence, we are exporting wealth in other communities.


If we can spend these dollars locally, imagine the economic impact, business opportunities and jobs we could create. Retained, these funds would repeatedly cycle through our economy.


With events like the Building Business Rally, we hope to inform our entrepreneurs and future entrepreneurs about the large and consistent opportunities around them, ultimately building an ecosystem that provides support and assistance to business startups.


Initiated by PWC’s goal of increasing local vendor capacity and purchasing, then- Chairwomen Evelyn Shaw asked fellow commissioner Darsweil Rogers to spearhead the local purchasing initiative and rally other organizations that had similar needs and goals. In May 2018, these efforts brought nearly 30 agencies and organizations together for the first Regional Building Business Rally.


That momentum has continued to build. From 2 to 6 p.m. Jan. 30at the Ramada Plaza, the fourth annual Building Business Rally will again bring together Cumberland County and Fayetteville’s largest buyers, representing more than $1 billion in opportunities. This unique opportunity provides a “one-stop shop” for local businesses and future entrepreneurs to connect with organizations with quantified service and product needs that want to spend locally.


Companies seeking vendors include Cape Fear Valley Health System, Cumberland County, Cumberland County Schools, the city of Fayetteville (including FAST and Community Development); Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville Technical Community College, the towns of Hope Mills and Spring Lake, N.C. Department of Transportation, Prince Charles Holdings, Barnhill Construction, PWC and Vector Fleet Maintenance, which manages the city of Fayetteville fleet.


Is your business our next success story? Are you ready to set your own path to prosperity by starting your own company? Join us, or visit www.faybids.com, to learn how you can take advantage of these opportunities.


We can’t wait to tell your story.


Robert Van Geons is president and CEO of the Fayetteville Cumberland Economic Development Corp.