Connecting Small Businesses to Big Institutions

As a small business owner, it is hard to know where to start to make connections with those who make purchasing decisions for large institutions on the Medical Campus. In an effort to support local businesses and introduce them to decision makers, the BNMC and its partners created the Procurement Work Council in 2013, as an outcome of the University at Buffalo’s Opportunities Advisory Council, to find ways to better connect business owners to purchasing professionals on Campus and create business opportunities for local firms.

The Council is made up of representatives from Kaleida Health, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, the University at Buffalo, ECMC, the City of Buffalo, the U.S. Small Business Administration, among others. The goal is to learn more about local businesses and to connect them with decision makers with an emphasis on minority, women and veteran-owned businesses.

The Council hosts quarterly “BNMCWorks” events designed to showcase local businesses to purchasers, including the highly successful matchmaking networking events. These events provide an opportunity for business owners to meet one-on-one with purchasers to make a short pitch about their business and begin business relationships.

Small businesses are often invited to Work Council meetings to share their offerings and it can result in new relationships formed. In fact, a portion of the meeting is dedicated to sharing referrals and providing recommendations to other purchasing managers, helping both the institutions meet their needs and in opening new doors for local entrepreneurs.  For more information, contact Marc Pope, BNMC community project manager, at mpope@bnmc.org.