Share your thoughts about a local vendor and you could win a basket of local treats.

The Johns Hopkins Purchasing Office invites employees from the university and health system to use the new "write a review" function of the vendor guide to help their colleagues identify local and diverse sources for the goods and services they need.

During the month of October, everyone who shares a review through the online guide will automatically be entered in a drawing. On Oct. 31, two winners—one from the university and one from the health system—will be drawn randomly from the entries.

Those winners will receive baskets full of French pastries from Café Poupon, some favorite candies from Charm City Chocolate, a peanut assortment from the Peanut Shoppe, decadent cupcakes from Midnite Confectionary, and even a few treats from Howl for their best four-legged friend.

"We want to make it easy for everyone at Johns Hopkins to support the HopkinsLocal goals and think about businesses in Baltimore when they choose a vendor," says Crystal Burns, small business and supplier diversity lead for the Johns Hopkins Purchasing Office. "When our guide is full of recommendations, it will be an important asset for people who make purchasing decisions in departments across the institutions."

Burns says that if someone wants to recommend a business that is not currently in the guide, she would be happy to review it as a possible addition. Those suggestions can be emailed to buylocal@jhu.edu.

To take part in the contest:

  • Go to the vendor guide.
  • Use your Johns Hopkins ID and password to access the guide.
  • Choose a vendor in any category.
  • Click the blue "write a review" link to the right of the vendor information.
  • Share your rating and comments.

Once you click the "submit review" button, the purchasing staff will automatically collect your Johns Hopkins email address and enter you in the drawing. All reviews are subject to approval before they are published on the website.

HopkinsLocal was announced in 2015 to promote more economic growth and employment opportunities in Baltimore City. The university and health system have committed to supporting local businesses and residents when they undertake construction projects, hire new employees, and purchase goods and services.

Of those three areas, purchasing is the most decentralized, with hundreds of individuals in the university and health system choosing what to buy for their areas every day, Burns says. Reaching the goals of the HopkinsLocal program depends on everyone's remembering to look locally for vendor options.

"Building a robust vendor guide is an important step in turning our employees' good intentions into economic action," she says.