Small and Diverse Suppliers Get Boost with ‘Better Together’ Business Summit

Salt River Project (SRP), Arizona Public Service (APS), Southwest Gas (SW Gas), and Tucson Electric Power (TEP) successfully hosted the “Better Together” Business Summit & Expo. The event provided Arizona’s small, local, and diverse suppliers with the resources and information to conduct business with utilities and other large corporations.

More than 350 attendees were present at the free event held on January 30, 2024, including small, local, diverse business owners, large suppliers, leaders from the utility sector, and other large corporations from Arizona.

The event featured insightful presentations and workshops on innovation, strategic growth, and how to collaborate with large utilities and corporations effectively. Subjects covered included navigating procurement, securing financial capital, innovation in a growing economy, and other topics. Participants also had the opportunity to establish valuable connections with other attendees and decision-makers from Arizona’s utilities and other large companies.

Lorena Gonzalez, a diverse business owner of Bullway Barricades, LLC and manager of two of SRP’s current diverse suppliers, Gonzalez Construction and Gonzalez Asphalt praised the summit: “Collaborating with SRP has been a game-changer for our business, propelling us to new heights of success. The ‘Better Together’ Business Summit not only provided invaluable networking opportunities but also equipped us with the tools and knowledge to thrive in a competitive landscape. Without hesitation, I encourage other small and diverse suppliers to seize the opportunity and participate in future summits—it’s a transformative experience that can truly revolutionize your business.”

Utility companies are constantly innovating to meet the demands of a rapidly growing state. By collaborating with small, diverse suppliers, utilities gain access to unique perspectives, solutions, and products, which enhances the quality of their services. However, small suppliers also face distinct challenges, and the “Better Together” Business Summit was designed to help them overcome these obstacles.

The event also featured a fireside chat where utility company executives addressed overcoming supply chain challenges through the help of small and diverse suppliers, fostering innovation in uncertain times, and redefining businesses to reflect the communities they serve. Additionally, Shivani Dubey, Deputy Director of the Arizona District Office of the Small Business Administration (SBA), gave a keynote on current opportunities and industry trends.

“Better Together” demonstrates the collective commitment of SRP, APS, TEP and SWG to support the development and success of small and diverse businesses in the region.

“We are excited about the positive response from the business community. All these businesses possess tremendous growth potential, and events like ‘Better Together’ allow us to connect directly with them, who can be great allies in the future,” said Erika Castro, Supplier Diversity Program Manager at SRP.

SRP is committed to a diverse supply chain for the benefit of its customers, shareholders, employees and communities. In FY23, SRP spent $254, million with over 700 small/local and diverse suppliers. Learn about the supplier diversity program at SRP here.

Speak Your Mind

In Business Dailies

Sign up for a complimentary year of In Business Dailies with a bonus Digital Subscription of In Business Magazine delivered to your inbox each month!

  • Get the day’s Top Stories
  • Relevant In-depth Articles
  • Daily Offers
  • Coming Events