The USC Small Business Diversity Office supports local Small Business, Big Plans

Small Business, Big PlansSmall Business, Big Plans

  • Carmen Rad has more room to run her custom printing business these days.

Carmen Rad started her business, CRA Custom Banner, out of her home in 1993. By 2009, her banner printing enterprise had grown enough for her move into a 25,000-square-feet building not far from the University Park campus.

Rad attributes part of her company’s success to the USC local vendor program.

“The program is a true advocate for small business,” Rad said. “I would not have had the opportunity to work with USC had this program not existed.”

The university spent a record $21 million with local businesses in 2011 - an increase of $7 million over the previous year.

“USC is anchored in the communities surrounding our campuses, and it’s important for us to support the small businesses that exist here,” said Rhonda Thornton, director of Supplier Diversity Services for the USC Small Business Diversity Office, who ensures that enterprises owned by minorities, women or veterans get their share of USC’s purchasing pie.

The university has a goal of spending 15 percent of its expenditures with diverse suppliers, and it has been able to reach 10 percent of those purchases over the last several years __-- even during the economic downturn, Thornton said.

The businesses generally are located within 26 ZIP codes near the University Park, Health Sciences, Marina del Rey and Alhambra campuses. The enterprises provide USC with products and services as diverse as the supplier base itself, including computers, travel services, banners, event management, office furniture and flowers.

“Our local vendor program creates a [jobs] foundation for our neighbors, internships for our students and a better community for everyone,” Thornton said.

In addition to the economic benefit of direct spending on products and services, the program also offers opportunities for development, such as monthly seminars on business literacy led by financial institutions.

“The seminars focus on financial compliance and economic growth and have proven to be very popular with our vendors,” Thornton said. “We want to be sure that they have all the tools they need to sustain growth and to increase their business with USC, as well as other purchasers.”

The university’s small business office also conducts “How to Do Business With USC” sessions in partnership with the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at USC.

Because awareness of local businesses and their products or services is a key factor in the success of the vendor program, the small business office sponsors a business diversity expo and vendor fair every 18 months on the University Park campus. More than 60 local businesses share their wares with 500 people from various USC business units, departments and schools - the staff and faculty responsible for purchasing items for their areas.

Last year the office partnered with the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau to host a group of tour operators from China. It was another way for Thornton to generate additional business for local vendors.

“It’s important for us to continue to shop locally but to think globally,” she said.

Views: 174

Attachments:

Reply to This

University Park Family is the news and social network for the neighborhoods around USC and Expo Park. Stay informed. Join now!

       • Got news you think everyone should know? Blog it.

• Have a show or attending a benefit? Put it on the calendar.
• Got video of the big game? Embed it.
• Photos of your business or the school play? Upload them.

Latest Activity

Jo- Koo commented on Jo- Koo's blog post The World STAGE 2018 "Summer/Fall into Autumn Jazz Concert Series +" [Upcomin': Fri., Sept. 21st - DWIGHT TRIBLE + Quartet / Sat., 22nd - CLIFF BROWN & Friends] *Updatez - Tix*
"LA Jazz Quick Calendar Friday 9/21 9:00PM – Dwight Trible  Saturday 9/22  9:00PM – Cliff Brown (both) – The World Stage – South L.A.         Jazz Non-Profit"
7 hours ago
Jo- Koo posted an event
Thumbnail

APOLLO SOUL @ The 'new' World STAGE "Sun. Afternoon Benefit" Sept. 23rd 4 PM ~ at The World Stage Art, Education and Performance Gallery non profit 501(c)(3) " 'Best Jazz Jam' 'n 'Best South L.A. Jazz Club ' " - LAWeekly

September 23, 2018 from 4pm to 6:45pm
Apollo Soul’s members are alumni of UCLA’s undergrad ethnomusicology (J)azz program. The instrumental group pulls from a variety of influences ranging from rock and (J)azz to avant- garden and experimental electronic music. LA legends and stage regulars Roberto Miranda, Cornel Fauler, Justo Almario, and Clayton Cameron are but a few of the masters that the group has sought guidance from in the past. It is the spirit of this lineage that Apollo Soul hopes to tap into for an exciting Sunday…See More
23 hours ago
Jo- Koo updated an event
Thumbnail

CLIFF BROWN "The Mandingo Street Warrior" and Friends @ The World STAGE at The World Stage " 'Best South L.A. Jazz Club' and 'Best Jazz Jam' " - LAWeekly

September 22, 2018 from 9pm to 11:30pm
Presented by Dwight Trible, Executive Director, The 'new' World STAGE Art, Education & Performance Gallery non profit 501 (c)(3)"Autumn Jazz Concert Series +" | 1st Day of Fall w/ "The Mandingo…See More
Tuesday
Jo- Koo commented on Jo- Koo's blog post DWIGHT TRIBLE + Quartet "Live 'n black&white" @ The World STAGE Fri., Sept. 21st 9PM ~ *updatez - TIX*
"(as per) Live On-Air (mention) by our "Humble Facilitator" Host - Mark Maxwell "Dwight Trible this Fri.. Anytime Dwight plays it's a special event. I know we get a lit'l spoiled here, hav'n him in town but…"
Tuesday
Jo- Koo commented on Jo- Koo's blog post The World STAGE 2018 "Summer/Fall into Autumn Jazz Concert Series +" [Upcomin': Fri., Sept. 21st - DWIGHT TRIBLE + Quartet / Sat., 22nd - CLIFF BROWN & Friends] *Updatez - Tix*
"Wuz Hot? Weekly Best Bets 4 Live Jazz L.A. Friday 9/21 – Vocalist Dwight Trible Saturday 9/22 – Guitarist Cliff  Brown (both) at The World Stage in South L.A."
Tuesday
Jo- Koo posted an event
Thumbnail

CLIFF BROWN "The Mandingo Street Warrior" & Friends @ The World STAGE at The World Stage " 'Best South L.A. Jazz Club' and 'Best Jazz Jam' " - LAWeekly

September 22, 2018 from 9pm to 11:30pm
Presented by Dwight Trible, Executive Director, The 'new' World STAGE Art, Education & Performance Gallery non profit 501 (c)(3)"Autumn Jazz Concert Series +" | 1st Day of Fall w/ "The Mandingo…See More
Monday
Jo- Koo posted blog posts
Sunday
Jo- Koo commented on Jo- Koo's event The PHIL RANELIN Jazz Ensemble "Dalili's Virgo Birthday Bash!" @ The World Stage
"Don Littleton is celebrating his birthday today come help celebrate his trip around Sun at (T)he (W)orld (S)tage tonight w/ (T)he Phil Ranelin Jazz Ensemble - "
Sep 14

Members

© 2018   Created by University Park Family.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service