THE WHITE HOUSE AT WORK
Tuesday, August 10, 1999
BUILDING A PARTNERSHIP WITH AMERICA'S BUSINESS COMMUNITY
"Large companies helping small companies get access to capital, learn the best technology and the best management techniques -- partnerships like this are good for investment, good for consumers, good for the bottom line."
President Bill Clinton
August 10, 1999
Today, at the White House, President Clinton and Vice President Gore announced a new nationwide effort to expand BusinessLINC (Business Learning, Investment, Networking and Collaboration), an initiative which encourages large businesses to mentor small business owners and entrepreneurs.
Encouraging Cooperation Through BusinessLINC. Launched by Vice President Gore in June 1998 in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Small Business Administration, BusinessLINC encourages large businesses to work with and mentor small business owners and entrepreneurs. The goal of BusinessLINC is to stimulate business-to-business relationships, including one-on-one technical advice and consulting, classroom and group training, strategic alliances, and development of suppliers and new sales channels. President Clinton calls for the expansion of BusinessLINC in his New Markets Initiative.
Corporate America Responds to the Challenge. President Clinton and Vice President Gore announced that the Business Roundtable, a coalition of Fortune 500 companies, has agreed to be the lead organization for BusinessLINC. Through this national leadership, efforts to expand BusinessLINC will be made, which include:
- announcing six BusinessLINC chapters nationwide, including the District of Columbia, Dallas, Boston, Chicago, New York, and the Mississippi Delta. Each chapter is headed by a CEO working in conjunction with local partners;
- seeking to double the number of local chapters to 12 by the end of its first year;
- maintaining a world-class website which will link to local coalitions, provide information about small business and minority outreach programs and best practices, and expand the pool of firms participating in BusinessLINC local chapters;
- collaborating with national partners, including the National Minority Supplier Development Council, the National Black Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the National Association of Women Business Owners.
Making an Impact on Small Business. President Clinton and Vice President Gore, along with business executives, community leaders, and small business owners, participated in a roundtable discussion at Powell Manufacturing Industries, a beneficiary of a program similar to BusinessLINC operated by the Board of Trade. Through a partnership with Giant Food, Inc., Powell Industries expanded by 45% and more than tripled its number of employees from 3 to 11. Giant helped to facilitate Powell's expansion through introductions and referrals to other businesses.
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