Small Business Administration and IBM Create Supplier Connection
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has taken a major step toward leveling the playing field for small businesses hoping to work with corporate America. In conjunction with more than a dozen of the country's largest corporations, the SBA launched Supplier Connection to help local businesses find opportunities to supply to some of the world's largest buyers.
Supplier Connection will allow small businesses, defined as those with less than $50 million in annual revenue or with fewer than 500 employees, to list a company profile on the site. Larger businesses looking for vendors can then browse by category to look for local businesses from which to source.
The SBA worked with the IBM Foundation to create the online portal, which will by that company as well as the follow 14 others when looking for vendors: Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), AT&T Corp., Bank of America Corp., Caterpillar Inc., Citigroup Inc., Dell Inc., Facebook, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Deere & Co., Kellogg Co., Office Depot Inc., Pfizer Inc., UPS Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co. Combined, the 15 companies spend more than $300 billion annually on outside suppliers, and more corporations are expected to join in time.
Supplier Connection was outlined as part of President Obama's American Supplier Initiative, which SBA director Karen Mills introduced on March 21. The initiative seeks to incentives businesses to invest in the U.S. economic infrastructure by buying American-made products and supporting local businesses, and the Supplier Connection website is a lynchpin of that plan.
"Supplier Connection removes barriers that small businesses face in trying to break into large company supply chains," Mills explained. "It also gives large companies exposure to a more diverse array of suppliers, so they can get the best, most innovative suppliers America has to offer. This is especially important for America's small businesses."