During the COVID-19 pandemic, support for local small businesses has weakened, forcing many to close or continue to struggle to exist. Savannah River Nuclear Solutions believes in the value of small and minority-owned businesses and continues to work closely with and grow small businesses throughout the region.
This ongoing, in depth support was recently affirmed with the nomination of SRNS as the National Minority Supplier Development Council’s Corporation of the Year, Class I.
The NMSDC virtually hosted its annual Conference and Business Opportunity Exchange Oct. 26-29, culminating with the awards gala, which was also a virtual event. This premier event attracts America’s top public and privately-owned companies and boasts representation of greater than 12,000 minority-owned businesses, 1,450 corporations, their procurement executives and supplier development leaders.
Only a small number of companies were nominated for this national honor, each representing organizations of a similar size in five different classes. SRNS was nominated along with such recognizable corporations as Microsoft, CVS, Toyota, ExxonMobil, Comcast, Johnson & Johnson and the Walt Disney Company.
“Though we were not named the winner in our class, being nominated for this prestigious award clearly places SRNS in the discussion for the best supplier development program in the nation,” said Alex Agyemang, SRNS small business liaison officer. “Savannah River Nuclear Solutions is interested in doing business with the best small businesses. We brand that way and join organizations that will help us gain access to outstanding suppliers. And, as a result, we’re being recognized as one of the top companies in the U.S. for supplier development. I’m extremely excited about it.”
This achievement, combined with the fact that over the last four years SRNS has committed $1 billion to small businesses, validates the strength of SRNS procurement policies related to supporting and growing small businesses. Contract to date, this innovative program has received 17 awards with 15 of these recognitions coming in the last three years.
Fred Freeman, SRNS director, supply chain procurement, agreed that small businesses are a key partner in SRNS’ success. “Their innovation, agility and cost structure make them invaluable to our business. This recognition highlights our commitment to ensuring they continue to have opportunity as we pursue new missions,” he said.
NMSDC started in 1972 and supported economic sustainability of certified minority business enterprises to build economic opportunity and wealth within minority communities.
With unceasing care, NMSDC works with its members to certify and match more than 12,000 minority-owned businesses with NMSDC member companies.
“Because we’re so specialized in our type of industry, this honor gives SRNS, the site and the Department of Energy an increased level of visibility. This will help draw the best of the best small business suppliers to us,” said Agyemang. “Small businesses do amazing work, building and growing our economy as they bring tremendous amounts of innovation to SRS. And they help our company gain credibility in the eyes of the most sought-after small businesses, along with corporations like Bank of America, UPS, Walt Disney and other household names. SRNS didn’t exist to these corporations three or four years ago, and now, we’re a nominee for Corporation of the Year, Class I.”
Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, a Fluor-led company with Newport News Nuclear and Honeywell, is responsible for the management and operations of the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site, including the Savannah River National Laboratory, located near Aiken, South Carolina.