Prison policy locks out the local hardware store
An article in Delmarvanow.com reports that a procurement policy for Eastern Correctional Institution in Maryland is cutting out the local hardware store.
In an blow to the buy-local movement, an Ace dealer in Princess Anne, Md., was told that Eastern Correctional Institution is handcuffed into buying from national supplier W.W. Grainger.
The article quotes Bill Harris, the owner of two Ace stores that formerly received business orders from the Maryland prison: “They should be supporting the local economy — period.”
Prison officials are looking to get a waiver on the requirement so that the prison could shop locally for hardware and other building materials, according to the article.
When contacted by Home Channel News, the state’s Department of General Services, which manages procurement for the prison, said the policy of buying from Grainger is neither unusual, nor new. The rule has been inplace since at least 2007, according to spokeswoman Susan Woods. "This is basically to protect taxpayer interests and streamline the quality service across the board," she said.
The law has a provision whereby the prison can purchase locally from a non-Grainger supplier for items under $1,000, as long as the total of off-contract purchases for the year is under $5,000.
Another cash mob hits hardware store
An Ohio hardware store was the destination of a cash mob on June 20 when nearly 60 people descended on Solon Valley Hardware, according to an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
It was the first event of the “Shop Solon First” campaign organized by the local Chamber of Commerce. Open since 1957, Solon Valley has been a chamber member since 1974.
Each participant was asked to show up at the same time and bring $20 to spend. A total of 59 transactions were conducted in one hour, according to the article. Individual sales averaged $28 to $29 a person.
Owners Jon and Joan Miller reported a cash infusion in the $1,700 range over the course of the hour.
True Value chain in Virginia adds another unit
Northwest True Value Hardware, a Roanoke-based chain of six retail outlets, will open a new store near Ridgeway in early 2013, according to an article in the Martinsville Bulletin.
The 20,000-sq.-ft. structure will carry traditional hardware categories, lawn and garden, Benjamin Moore Paint, and niche items such as the Lodge Cast Iron brand of cookware, an American-made product.
The owners will invest $1.5 million in the project, and the Henry and Martinsville Economic Development Corp. (EDC) will also assist. “Economic development comes in different sizes, shapes and places,” said Jim Adams, chairman of the Henry County board of supervisors. “Traditionally, public sector entities concentrate on large business and industrial development, while retail development has been primarily left to the private sector.”
But, Adams said, the [EDC] will work “on everything that comes up because we know we need to. When it comes to economic development, no one stays in their lane — we work the project, and today’s event is an example of that.”