The Fayetteville Public Works Commission on Wednesday heard an update on a program that will offer opportunities for small businesses to compete with other similarly situated businesses for procurement opportunities from the utility.
The initiative, called the Small Local Supplier Program, allows a business to build capacity and experience that in turn reinvests PWC procurement dollars into the surrounding region.
Mark Cannady, a risk, procurement and contract analyst for PWC, and Candice Kirtz, director of the utility's Supply Chain, led the discussion.
“This is not for approval. This is a briefing to seek additional input,” said Elaina Ball, the general manager and CEO of Fayetteville PWC. “We’re hopeful we’ll have a program completed here in the next few months.”
In early July 2021, “Senate Bill 294 was approved and that created session law that allows PWC to create a Small Business Enterprise Program to promote the development of small businesses within the Fayetteville metropolitan statistical area," Cannady said.
In late August, Ball reached out to Cannady to develop the program and a foundational plan, which includes program purpose, objectives, a certification standard, a strategy for program application and the establishment of organizational goals.
According to the utility, the Small Local Supplier Program is designed to support regional economic growth by making a concerted effort to utilize small businesses first when PWC is contracting. Additionally, this utilization of small local suppliers will aid a small business in growing its resume of contracting with PWC and, hopefully, grow its business to bigger contracts within the region.
Cannady discussed the types of incentives that would hopefully attract the small business community in Fayetteville and how the program would utilize available suppliers and service providers.
“The way we know it works,” Kirtz said after the meeting, “we’ll see an increase in the utilization of small and local providers and service providers."
And that, she said, will be measured by a comparison of the number of firms certified by PWC as small local suppliers to the actual number of small local suppliers used over a fiscal year.
Michael Futch covers Fayetteville and education for CityView TODAY. He can be reached at email@example.com. Have a news tip? Email news@CityViewTODAY.com.