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omb -- SBA Announces a New Partnership to Connect Small Businesses with Corporate Supply Chains

Posted: 22 Mar 2012 10:26:03
WASHINGTON – 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

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, please visit:

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