Public-private partnership offers small biz opportunity

A new public-private partnership will allow small businesses access to more than $300 billion in supply chain spending.

The partnership involves 15 of the United State’s largest corporations and the U.S. Small Business Administration, according to a press release about the new collaboration.

Called the Supplier Connection, the effort was created by the IBM Foundation and is part of the Obama Administration’s supplier initiative. The goal is to bridge the gap between small, nimble businesses looking for new opportunities and large corporations that want diversity in their supply chains.

Supplier Connection is a free, online portal created by the IBM Foundation that allows small businesses to send information about their products and services to 15 large private sector companies. The 15 companies participating in Supplier Connection are: AMD, AT&T, Bank of America, Caterpillar, Citi Group, Dell, Facebook, IBM, JP Morgan Chase, John Deere, Kellogg’s, Office Depot, Pfizer, UPS and Wells Fargo.

“The American Supplier Initiative is part of a comprehensive solution to grow small businesses, create jobs and to ensure that America has a strong, deep and diverse supply chain,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. “While it is clear that becoming a corporate supplier can lead to business growth, breaking in can be a challenge for small businesses.”

Mills sent letters about Supplier Connection to more than 50,000 small businesses that currently participate in small business federal procurement programs. Studies have shown that small businesses that are part of large corporations’ supply chains experience increased revenues and employment.