Why are Group Purchasing Organizations (GPO’s) developing/supporting supplier diversity programs?

GPO’s are driven by their membership. Members of GPO’s are hospitals, health systems, surgery centers, nursing homes, physician practices that are community based. These member organizations want to support the communities where they provide services. Supporting and nurturing diverse companies in their community’s benefits the healthcare providers by helping the population becomes more self sufficient and less reliant upon free health care.

How can a W/MBE get started with a GPO?

There are as many answers to this question as there are GPO’s but the best place to start is with the on-line registration process at each GPO’s website. From that point it is probably best to make sure that if the W/MBE has a product that requires distribution that that process also be in place. Each GPO has a key contract for Supplier Diversity listed on their website, contact that individual for more detailed information and next steps.

If I complete all of the required forms and become a contract supplier of a GPO does that mean I will definitely get new business?

Not necessarily, the GPO’s will work with you to develop a marketing brochure/campaign, however, you will have to “sell” your company and products to the GPO membership. GPO’s will assist where possible and also make sure that their membership is notified about a new contract source but the actual sale will be the responsibility of your company. This is another reason it is very important to establish a good communication network with the Supplier Diversity manager at the GPO as well as with other W/MBE’s that work with GPO’s and also those that do not.

NEXTTECH Pitch Day to connect innovative Minority Business Enterprises with corporate and government agencies through a reverse pitch session.ATLANTA (June 26, 2020) — The Atlanta Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Advanced Manufacturing Center will host the second NEXTTECH 2020 Pitch session on July 21, 2020.NEXTTECH 2020 Pitch Day will match Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) to decision-makers during a series of meetings and presentations over the next six months. The first NEXTTECH presentation on May 19, 2020, focused on energy storage. Other challenges from corporations include training technology, virtual reality, and manufacturing innovations.Slots are still available and companies and agencies interested in applying to participate in the NEXTTECH Pitch Day matchmaking series may contact Brandy Nagel at brandy.nagel@innovate.gatech.edu and visit nexttechpitch.com for more information.With funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce MBDA, the goal of the NEXTTECH initiative is to help corporations and government agencies solve challenges and reach their objectives with innovative solutions provided by MBEs.Unlike traditional matchmaking events, the big buyers will pitch their challenges — typically a funded initiative — and the MBEs ask questions. Participating companies and agencies, as well as MBEs, will be screened to maximize opportunities for collaboration. To qualify, MBEs must own a product or market-ready service and have the capacity to address the...
Foreign nationals who are in the U.S. in F-1 student status are often eligible to engage in employment after completing their academic program in what is referred to as Optional Practical Training (OPT). As a result of the current high unemployment rate in the U.S., the Trump Administration is currently reviewing the F-1 OPT program, and is considering taking action to suspend or limit the program until U.S. unemployment has declined. Within President Trump’s April 22, 2020 proclamation, there was a provision that tasked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of Labor to review nonimmigrant visa programs and recommend certain measures be taken to possibly suspenSuspending or limiting the F-1 OPT program would likely have a negative impact on the U.S. It would weaken its competitiveness and hinder economic recovery. Foreign nationals who participate in the F-1 OPT program bring skills and talent that are desperately needed, and that the U.S. labor force is unable to provide. In addition, suspending or limiting the F-1 OPT program would result in other countries benefiting from the education provided to these F-1 students by U.S. colleges and universities, and in some cases, may result in these foreign nationals and the overseas companies they may work for to compete against the U.S. and its interests....
Lowe's Companies, Inc. has opened its first round of grant applications to provide much-needed relief to minority-owned businesses. Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) will manage the process of vetting applications for $25 million in emergency grants that will offer critical aid to minority- and women-led small businesses. Discover how Lowe's is helping small businesses reopen and stay open....

Registration for the 2020 Ohio MSDC Business Opportunity Expo: LevelUp is now open. Divided into three impactful days, the Virtual BOE will connect diverse suppliers and organizations looking to enhance the way they do business.

Featuring Training & Development Workshops, Matchmaking Sessions and a Virtual Expo, the Virtual Business Opportunity Expo is an event you don't want to miss!

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The SBA has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID19.

SBA’s EIDL program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit. These loans can provide vital economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue. EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses.

Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid.

For additional information, please visit the SBA disaster assistance website at

A major mid-west healthcare system, based in Indiana, has been using HPC’s Association and Conference Concierge Program for over 5 years. This service allows healthcare systems to drive down costs related to conference registration fees and association membership dues by using HPC to coordinate all activities for increased efficiency and to negotiate lower rates.

Year after year, they have seen the value of the program and together, HPC and this healthcare system have experienced overwhelming success in cost savings and centralization. Recently an unforeseen, yet valuable success in another important area of this program occurred.

Before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the healthcare system had many employees scheduled to attend association events and industry conferences for which all registration fees had already been paid. As information started to spread more widely about the pandemic, the healthcare system made the very difficult and unprecedented decision to suspend all travel. Given this information, HPC was able to cancel registrations and pursue refunds on their behalf.

As of the end of May, HPC has recovered $68K in fees that can be used on other vital needs.

ZRG Medical MedShare Donation

Although we specialize in medical equipment liquidation, we are bound to come across some excess assets from hospitals along with their decommissioned equipment that are non-medical. Instead of taking these items directly to be recycled or disposed of, we see where they could be donated first.

We chose to collaborate with MedShare to donate and distribute over 60 chairs and 20 medical storage essentials to under-served hospitals throughout the world. By assisting hospitals to clear out unwanted assets and redistributing them through a charitable supplier, we are helping facilities in need to be more organized and comfortable, benefitting workers and patients.

A Black, female-owned marketing firm has switched gears to help companies and organizations acquire Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to help during the coronavirus pandemic.Impact Consulting Enterprises announced Wednesday that it has changed its focus from marketing, website design, and development to temporarily join the PPE network. President and CEO Cheryl McCants activated her supply chain to begin helping organizations in New Jersey, where Impact is based.“When I learned of the many challenges that procurement officers faced in identifying legitimate suppliers for masks, gloves, and other types of PPE, we instinctively jumped in to help,” McCants said in the release. “While we are not doctors, grocery workers, or first responders, Team Impact consists of great researchers and crises managers. We put our skills to use and shored up a portion of the PPE supply chain for those in need. It only made sense. We did what we could to help others save lives.”Beginning in March, East Orange, New Jersey-based Impact Consulting began looking for reliable national and international suppliers to help deliver supplies during the coronavirus outbreak. Impact quickly acquired masks, gloves, hand sanitizers, and wipes for hospitals, schools, utility companies, and other organizations in need.So far, Impact’s effort has led to 50,000 masks going to New Jersey’s University Hospital. Another 12,000 masks were sent to the Eden School for Autistic Children. 10,000 gloves were sen...