Cooperative Purchasing & Buying from Small Businesses

LAST UPDATED: September 8, 2015

What You Should Know

The University actively participates in cooperative purchasing arrangements with external educational organizations to identify new cost savings and contracting opportunities. Our liaison program identifies ways departments can achieve savings and efficiencies through better understanding the purchasing process. We also support the small, local, and disadvantaged business community; when possible we seek opportunities to purchase from these suppliers.

Cooperative Purchasing

The University actively participates in the following organizations aimed at identifying cooperative purchasing initiatives.

Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in New Jersey

The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in New Jersey (AICUNJ) stimulates public interest in legislation and policy making affecting member institutions.

Educational & Institutional Cooperative

The purchasing department has been a member of the  Educational & Institutional Cooperative  (E&I) since 1945. The Educational & Institutional Cooperative is a not-for-profit buying cooperative that attempts to leverage national and regional collaborative buying opportunities.

Ivy Plus Purchasing Group

Originally limited to the Ivy League schools, the Ivy League Purchasing Group has since expanded its membership to include schools from across the country. We work closely with members of the Ivy League Purchasing Group to share strategies and knowledge, identify and investigate new purchasing-related technologies, and to explore the possibility of leveraging our combined purchasing volume.

New Jersey Higher Education Purchasing Association

Princeton University was one of the founding schools in the New Jersey Higher Education Purchasing Association (NJHEPA). NJHEPA advocates and develops cooperative purchasing practices in higher education.

Philadelphia Area Collegiate Cooperative

The Philadelphia Area Collegiate Cooperative (PACC) is a cooperative purchasing organization established to leverage combined buying power for its member institutions located in and around Philadelphia. The PACC takes advantage of the combined purchasing volume of its members to obtain the "least total cost" for targeted commodities while supporting the unique business requirements of each participating institution.

Buying from Small, Local & Disadvantaged Businesses

Princeton University is committed to providing support for small, disadvantaged, and local business concerns of all types, including:

  • small businesses;
  • local Princeton-area businesses;
  • small disadvantaged businesses;
    • women-owned small businesses; 
    • veteran-owned small businesses; 
    • service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses; and
    • small businesses located in historically underutilized business zones.

Purchasing ensures that small businesses are included in the competitive bidding process in an effort to comply with Executive Order 11246 and Public Law 95-507 reporting requirements. We encourage all small, disadvantaged, and local businesses to register on our Supplier Portal to have visibility to our sourcing events.

In an effort to maximize the opportunity for small, local, and disadvantaged business participation in the University community’s purchasing decisions, the purchasing department is a business member of the Metropolitan Trenton African America Chamber of Commerce (MTAACC) and has developed a small, disadvantaged business mentoring program on campus. In addition, you’ll find New Jersey state registered small, disadvantaged businesses through the New Jersey Selective Assistance Vendor Information Portal hosted by NJ Commerce.


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