Don Brandt, Arizona Public Service Company

Doing Business Locally Can Boost Economic Growth

from Don Brandt

I was pleased to be asked to guest edit this month because this issue is focused on the power of doing business with local companies to energize and strengthen our economy. This is something we at APS see as a valuable tactic in many respects.

APS has powered our state for 125 years, so we certainly qualify as a local business. We take seriously our responsibility to support Arizona’s other local businesses, as well as the communities in which they operate. As you might expect, generating and delivering reliable power for 1.1 million homes and businesses requires considerable investment, and we make every effort to keep our purchasing local. Last year, APS spent $500 million with Arizona companies, including $64 million with certified minority- and women-owned enterprises. By building relationships with local firms, we fortify Arizona’s economy, spur job creation and help establish our state as an appealing location for new and growing businesses.

This month’s cover story is an in-depth look at the companies, organizations, advocates and studies that attest to the powerful benefits of turning to local businesses for our goods and services. Kate Nolan speaks to some of the Valley’s best-known companies to identify the impact their businesses have on employment, tax revenue and community involvement — all by thinking local. Kimber Lanning, founder of Local First Arizona, part of a movement that has brought this subject to the forefront, also voices her thoughts about the importance of legislation and policies that can immediately strengthen our local economy, as well as about why it is so hard to shift existing mindsets.

In Business Magazine editor RaeAnne Marsh tells of the power implementing sustainable measures has on the bottom line of a company. From installing solar systems to changing lighting systems, local businesses are seeing the positive impact of going green. Businesses share programs they have put in place, some of which are surprisingly simple, that are saving money and making an environmental difference.

Also in this issue, Ms. Marsh speaks with Norma Parraz about the benefits of working with multicultural markets and the benefit this market has on businesses that are open to embracing it. Rick Smith of TASER International talks about his company’s beginnings and what it took to get TASER off the ground in this month’s “Trickle Up.” And, Denis Collins, Ph.D., gives us tips on how to hire an honest staff.

Knowledge is key in running a successful business, so I am pleased to present this June 2011 issue of In Business Magazine and hope you enjoy your read.

Sincerely,

Don Brandt
Chairman & CEO
Arizona Public Service Company (APS)

Donald Brandt is chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Arizona Public Service Co. and chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. He currently serves on the boards of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, the Nuclear Energy Institute, the Edison Electric Institute and Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited in addition to several community and charitable organizations that include The Nature Conservancy in Arizona, the Arizona Science Center, The Phoenix Symphony and the Heard Museum.

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