By Tony Khing
On Monday (Nov. 17), PG&E met in Washington with the White House economic team and officials from the U.S. Small Business Administration to discuss ongoing efforts aimed at helping small business under the Obama administration’s SupplierPay pledge.
The initiative, launched by President Obama on July 11, is designed to encourage large corporations to develop ways to assist their small business suppliers address financial challenges.
PG&E was the first utility and one of the initial 26 companies to participate in this pledge. As part of this initiative, PG&E is developing several programs to help its small business suppliers facing financial challenges. These businesses are major partners with PG&E. In 2013, PG&E’s spend with diverse businesses was more than $2.3 billion.
“We’ve offered customized payment options to small businesses in need of accelerated cash flow for some time now,” said PG&E Senior Vice President of Safety and Shared Services Des Bell, who attended the White House meeting. “Our partnerships with these businesses help us provide safe, reliable and affordable energy for our customers. By working with small businesses, we also promote economic vitality and job creation in the communities we serve.”
PG&E is working with several lending institutions (banks and community development financing institutions) to explore how the utility can collaborate with them to increase access to capital for small businesses. The utility is also asking its primary suppliers to promote the financial strength of their small business subcontractors.
“We have a long history of encouraging our extended supply chain to work with small and diverse businesses as subcontractors and business partners,” said Bell. “We will continue to promote the growth of small businesses and the goals of SupplierPay throughout our supply chain.”
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