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MLGW News Release
Growing companies and enhancing economic Prosperity in Memphis
March 3, 2016

MLGW spends $47 million with minority, women and local companies in 2015

Memphis Light Gas and Water’s Supplier Diversity program reported its highest year-end spending in the history of the program with $47 million – or 37 percent of the utility’s $127 million spend for procurement – to minority, women and locally-owned small businesses (MWBE/LSBs) in 2015.

This marks a 13-percent increase from 2014 when the program recorded $33 million – or 24 percent of $144 million – to MWBE/LSBs.

MLGW procurement spending includes the purchasing of products, work and services outside the company. Those services include such things as lawn maintenance and information services consulting to products ranging from utility wires, gas pipes and computer equipment. The Supplier Diversity program’s spending breaks down to $18 million to locally-owned small businesses, $4 million to women-owned business enterprises and $25 million to minority-owned business enterprises for the industry classified categories of architecture and engineering; construction; goods and supplies and services.

“We are proud of how our Supplier Diversity program is leading the way in the city and continuously doing more business with minority, women and local small companies,” said Jerry Collins Jr., president and CEO of MLGW. “Each year, our representatives make efforts to reach out to companies and increase our spending with MWBE/LSBs, which is so important to reflect our diversity as a company and it has a direct economic impact on the city of Memphis.”

For three consecutive years, the program reported a steady three percent increase in spending with MWBE/LSBs {18 percent of $144 million in 2012; 21 percent of $160 million in 2013; 24 percent of $144 million in 2014}, but representatives attribute the 13-percent increase in 2015 to the program’s mission of being intentional.

“We are intentional in our efforts to help small businesses in Memphis get opportunities,” said Renise Holliday, Supplier Diversity coordinator. “We intentionally create opportunities for businesses by hosting networking opportunities, procurement fairs and connecting businesses with certification companies so they can become certified to bid on contracts. We are also intentional because our support for Supplier Diversity comes from the top down.”

Through its Sheltered Market program, MLGW spent $9.5 million in 2015. This race- and gender-neutral program, designed to expand small businesses, shelters any purchase under $100,000 by offering three or more certified local small businesses the opportunity to bid on products or services. MLGW will host its fourth annual Procurement Opportunities Fair, March 30, 8 a.m. at MLGW’s Joyce M. Blackmon Training Center, 4949 Raleigh LaGrange Rd. For more information about MLGW’s Supplier Diversity and Sheltered Market programs, visit