This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

For small businesses hoping to get their products noticed by larger companies with financial clout, the U.S. Small Business Administration recently unveiled its Supplier Connection.

Created by the IBM Foundation as part of the Obama administration's American Supplier Initiative, the initiative is a public-private partnership involving 15 corporations designed to give entrepreneurs access to more than $300 billion in financing opportunities.

In a recent statement, SBA Administrator Karen Mills said the effort is aimed at growing small businesses, creating jobs and strengthening and diversifying America's supply chain.

"While it is clear that becoming a corporate supplier can lead to business growth," Mills said, "breaking in can be a challenge for small businesses."

Mills recently sent letters to more than 50,000 small businesses, notifying them of the new tools available through the free, online portal, http://www.supplier-connection.net.

The 15 corporations involved in the effort are AMD, AT&T, Bank of America, Caterpillar, Citi Group, Dell, Facebook, IBM, JP Morgan Chase, John Deere, Kellogg's, Office Depot, Pfizer, UPS and Wells Fargo.

The corporations — with a combined purchasing power of more than $300 billion — can peruse the profiles of small businesses who register online and determine which ideas or products might be worthy of their investment dollars.

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