COVID 19 Opportunities, A Fireside Chat with Chief Procurement Officers, and News from SBA

About the Episode:

Opportunities are plenty for small businesses in times of crisis. The ability to identify these opportunities is crucial in order to make smart decisions and use them to your advantage. The Covid-19 pandemic has ravaged business systems, both small and large. However, it has opened doors for health-related products and services such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs). This conversation discusses how minority-owned suppliers and small businesses can do business with the American Red Cross and other agencies like AARP and Montgomery County Procurement departments. We also hear from Stephen Umberger as he shares the latest updates from the SBA. SBA helps small businesses get loans directly through the Disaster Loan program or indirectly through the PPP loans.

Featuring Panelists are;

  • Arnold Sowa, (Ret), Chief Procurement Officer, Met Life 
  • Robert Khan, Vice President of Procurement and Contract Management for AARP 
  • Tom Nash, Chief Procurement Officer – American Red Cross
  • Ash Shetty, Chief Procurement Officer – Montgomery County.

Tune in!

Here’s What You’ll Get In This Episode

[00:01] A warm welcome by the moderator; Sharon Pinder

[02:49] This webinar’s agenda and introduction to the team

[08:27] Fireside chat with the Panelists

[09:24] Arnold’s description of the Covid pandemic as a chief procurement officer

[12:16] What has changed in Tom’s business and his role as CPO due to  the Covid crisis

[15:06] Changes he’s witnessed in terms of buying needs

[16:43] Advice to minority-owned suppliers on doing business with the American Red Cross

[18:58] Questions and Answers session

[20:48] How covid-19 has changed the AARP business operations

[22:55] Procurement changes Robert anticipates in the organization 

[25:04] How can minority-owned suppliers get in contact and do business with AARP

[26:27] Questions and Answers session

[28:59] How the covid pandemic has affected Ash Shetty’s goal as a procurement officer

[32:03] Future buying needs and how MBEs can be prepared to work with his agency

[33:51] How you can find out more about the available contracts

[34:32] How easier for MBEs to engage in business with the Montgomery County

[37:28] Questions and Answers session

[40:45] Stephen Umberger- News from SBA Cares Act

[42:22] The updates from SBA Cares Act

[44:13] A quick poll

[46:43] Reason for moving PPP loans to the CDFIs and smaller banks

[53:00] Ensuring business sustainability if the pandemic persists & no more federal funding

[55:55] Open Chat questions

[01:03:33] Wrap-up and call to action 

Notable Quotes

  • What we buy and how we buy it must change in the covid pandemic.
  • Necessity is the mother of invention.

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