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Ken Anderson, vice president of civic affairs at the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, speaks at the Diverse Procurement Collaborative Reception on June 8. Photo: Jensen Toussaint/AL DÍA News.
Ken Anderson, vice president of civic affairs at the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, speaks at the Diverse Procurement Collaborative Reception on June 8. Photo: Jensen Toussaint/AL DÍA News.

Looking at the progress of the Diverse Procurement Collaborative, two years later

During a reception event on June 8, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia highlighted its progress in diverse supplier spending.

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Two years ago, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia launched the new Diverse Procurement Collaborative.

The initiative was initially launched as a way to aid the Chamber’s overarching aspiration of building the region’s reputation for investing in and growing small, and diversely-owned businesses. 

Ken Anderson, vice president of civic affairs at the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, highlighted that there are two things that the Diverse Procurement Collaborative has been laser-focused on.

“Number one, increasing access to contract opportunities for diverse firms — specifically Black and Brown-owned firms, and women-led firms,” he said. “And two, we provide a forum for our companies to learn from each other.”

Since the program was launched, the Chamber has kept track of its progress on a regular basis.

On Thursday, June 8, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia hosted a reception event at the VUE in Center City, to highlight that progress. 

During the event, Anderson announced that in 2022, the Diverse Procurement Collaborative companies reported spending over $1.3 billion on diverse businesses in the region. 

“Compared to last year’s $972 million, that’s an increase of $63 million in one year,” Anderson underscored. 

To this end, he noted that the outlook is always to grow and ensure that the elements needed are always in place to see it start and continue to take shape. 

Michael Innocenzo, President & CEO of PECO and board chair for the Chamber of Commerce, highlighted the dedication the Chamber has in helping grow the local economy, an endeavor in which PECO shares, as well. 

“One of the things I’m most proud of being associated with is how the Chamber of Commerce showed up for our city when our city needed us the most,” he said.

That approach is what led to the launch of Recharge & Recovery PHL, a program under which the Diverse Procurement Collaborative operates, amid the onset of the pandemic. 

Michael Innocenzo, board chair of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. Photo: Jensen Toussaint/AL DÍA News.
Michael Innocenzo, board chair of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. Photo: Jensen Toussaint/AL DÍA News.

For Innocenzo, the DPC is a recognition of the various challenges local businesses faced amid the pandemic and a showcase of the impact that can happen when help is available. 

“When you think about everything that we're faced with today in our city — whether it's gun violence, education, disparate health impacts — there's a huge role that we play in making sure that we're providing jobs, for providing growth opportunities, and most importantly, that we're doing it inclusively,” said Innocenzo. 

While the impact is there, he stresses the importance of building on that momentum and continuing to expand its reach. 

The title sponsor for the reception event was TD Bank, whose mission is to enrich the lives of customers, colleagues and communities.

The key to doing that is listening to the community and adhering to their needs, according to Damien Ghee, senior vice president and regional vice president of TD Bank. 

“We take a holistic approach to that here,” added Ghee.

Damien Ghee of TD Bank. Photo: Jensen Toussaint/AL DÍA News.
Damien Ghee of TD Bank. Photo: Jensen Toussaint/AL DÍA News.

With the business community and overall community growing more and more diverse, understanding and embracing that diversity is a must. 

“We have a responsibility to make sure that collectively we are making our communities better, and supplier diversity is a way to do that,” said Anderson. 

To learn more about the Chamber’s Diverse Procurement Collaborative, click here

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