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and women-owned businesses into the sourcing process, leveraging those relationships with manufacturers to support these businesses and implementing a marketing plan to communicate with small businesses and their owners.

Mr. Bell said his office collaborates with the company’s corporate communications department to reach small businesses to promote the company’s supplier diversity programs.   The company also offers an on-line sign-up form.

Mr. Bell said that small business development is an economically sound corporate strategy with benefits that include stimulation of competition, enhancement of cost reduction initiatives, and encouragement of economic development.

Lorraine Baughman, Procurement and Material Manager, Gulf Power Company

Gulf  Power has developed a strategy for what the company strives to achieve in the area of supply diversity.  That strategy encompasses the three C’s:  compliance, cultivation, and citizenship.

Compliance means that the company complies with all regulatory guidelines and meets the spending goals with a pool of certified high quality suppliers.  The company cultivates diversity that adds quality and, through mentoring opportunities, helps proven suppliers grow their businesses.  Gulf Power strives to be a good corporate citizen and  improves the economies of the communities where the company serves.

Ms. Baughman provided an example of a small business, an industrial mechanical & electrical contractor, that was given a chance on miscellaneous electrical services at one generating plant.  That small business advanced as a successful bidder to larger projects, and the contract was expanded to other generating plants.  In 2004, Gulf Power contracted with the company for an amount of $238,281, and in 2005, the amount was $615,767.  Another example

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