Small Business SupplierPay Announcement

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Small Business SupplierPay Announcement

Speech Date: 
Friday, July 11, 2014
Speech Location: 
White House
As Prepared For: 
Maria Contreras Sweet, SBA Administrator

Three months ago, I took my oath at the SBA after spending most of my career as an entrepreneur and a business banker in Los Angeles. As I’ve traveled the country and asked America’s small business owners their No. 1 challenge, I get some version of the same answer.
They tell me, “Our customers love what we’re selling. Now, I just need the working capital to scale up so we can service more of them.”

The SBA provides access to the Three Cs – capital, consultation, and contracts. We launched the American Supplier Initiative because we know that corporations who are part of corporate supply chains grow their revenue by an average of 250 percent and their workforce by an average of 150 percent.

The CEOs here today have all contracted with small businesses and enabled them to create jobs in local communities. But today, these companies are going a step further. They’re making a commitment to provide a steady flow of working capital to their suppliers. That’s what Supplier Pay is all about.  It’s about paying suppliers on time and keeping their interest rates low so they can invest in new equipment, new products and new people.

SupplierPay is a win-win.  It’s a win for small businesses because they gain payment certainty that allows them to plan for growth. That could mean hiring full-time employees with health benefits, instead of relying on more expensive contract labor.  Or it could mean investing in new products and better processes that will improve their bottom line.

SupplierPay is also a win for U.S. corporations. Providing payment certainty to small businesses means corporate buyers will get higher-quality goods and services and pay less for them. 

We’re competing in a global economy, and strong, nimble supply chains give American companies a competitive edge.

The SBA has been charged with leading the implementation of SupplierPay. We will do three things: First, we will recruit additional corporations to join this endeavor. Second, we will study and share best practices, so companies can choose a financing strategy that makes sense for them. Third, we will track our progress, because strong metrics will help us build momentum and bring more companies on board.

I want to thank President Obama, Director Zients, Valerie Jarrett and the entire economic team for their leadership.  Today, we’re taking an important step, and I look forward to building on the momentum of this announcement.