A new private-public collaboration will help small businesses strengthen their revenue streams by gaining access to more than $300 billion in combined supply chain spending by a consortium of 15 of America’s largest corporations, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced today.
Supplier Connection, created by the IBM Foundation, is part of the Obama Administration’s American Supplier Initiative and is designed to help bridge the gap between small, nimble businesses looking for new opportunities and large corporations looking for innovative new ideas and diversity in their supply chains.
“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. The Supplier Connection will be one tool to help small businesses connect with corporate buyers. Tools like this help to ensure that more small businesses are part of commercial supply chains, which adds additional revenue streams. This is a proven formula for job creation.”
Mills today sent letters about Supplier Connection, a new tool to help small businesses access private sector supply chains, 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. SBA is committed to helping small businesses identify new tools and resources to become part of these 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. Together, these 15 companies have a combined purchasing power of $300 billion and now they will have full access to the profiles of small businesses that have registered for Supplier Connection.
The American Supplier Initiative is a call-to-action to the private sector to invest in their supply chains through small businesses. The initiative aims to address four key areas in which small business need help in order to become successful suppliers in the private sector: access to mentorship and counseling services, increased market and revenue opportunities, ready sources of capital to fund their growth, and a highly skilled workforce.
To date, several American Supplier Initiative announcements have already been made:
• SBA’s International Trade Loan expansion – This program provides small businesses with capital to finance their fixed assets, including real estate, and working capital needs. This program offers private lenders a 90 percent guarantee on loans up to $5 million as an incentive to encourage lending to growing small businesses. Small businesses may use the ITL program to on-shore and help bring jobs back to the U.S.
• Export-Import Bank’s Global Credit Express Product – This product is specially designed to deliver short-term working capital loans directly to creditworthy small business exporters. Through this new program, exporters may be eligible for a 6- or 12-month revolving line of credit of up to $500,000.
• CAPLines – SBA’s CAPLines program was recently revamped to help small businesses meet their short-term and cyclical working capital needs.
Identifying ways to strengthen small and medium-sized manufacturers is a priority for the administration and additional announcements under the American Supplier Initiative are expected to be rolled out in the coming weeks and months.
For more information on Supplier Connection, see https://www.supplier-connection.net.