CANTON -- The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at SUNY Canton hosted its first "matchmaker" event recently to connect local small businesses with large purchasers in northern New York, such as hospitals and colleges.
According to organizer and SBDC Business Advisor Brooke Rouse, each of the purchasing agencies at the event plan to work with at least one local business.
Matchmaking is similar to "speed-dating": businesses signed up for 10-minute meetings with purchasing officers and had a short time to network and share marketing materials.
"The purchasing officers were very open to sharing information, and everyone was there with the purpose to help small businesses grow in the region," Rouse said. "Some of the business participants have not even opened officially; others have been in business for many years. This type of event helps to bridge the gap and open conversation between supplier and purchaser."
In all, nine agency purchasing offices, three resource partners and 19 small business representatives attended.
In addition to the opportunity for business owners to pitch their products, Rouse said participants learned about the requirements for contracting with state and federal entities and private corporations.
The SUNY Canton SBDC plans to host a similar event next fall.
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