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Energy.  Those suppliers are to report “their second tier dollars--the dollars they spend with minority and women-owned businesses,” and the Progress Energy tracks these results within its overall program.

Progress Energy has been recognized by the Florida Minority Supplier Diversity Council as corporation of the year in 2003, and twice in consecutive years, the company has been recognized as a top 50 U.S. multicultural corporation.

Fred Bell, Manager, Supplier Diversity, Tampa Electric Company

Mr. Bell said Tampa Electric Company’s (TECO) investment in contracts with small businesses has grown by 29 percent since 2000.    Some examples of products and services that the company typically purchases include air compressors, chemicals and solvents, community training, landscaping, and other maintenance-type businesses.

TECO has received the Minority Business Advocate Award by the Business Journal of Tampa Bay, and the company has been recognized by the National Minority Supplier Diversity Council for more than 20 years of support.

Mr. Bell said his office’s mission is to help Tampa Electric to do business and pursue partnerships with high quality small, minority, and women-owned businesses.  The company’s objective is to promote the use of small, minority, and women-owned businesses by TECO Energy companies and prime contractors.  He said he works with the Office of Supplier Diversity and the Florida Minority Supplier Development Council.  

Mr. Bell said that Tampa Electric has programs specifically designed for small business owners.  They include billing options, energy conservation programs and rebates, and energy-related products and services.  He said the company’s success depends, in part, on doing business with diverse supplier-based small businesses.  They include the integration of minority

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