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USC : Ties Sought With Area Businesses

October 23, 1994|ENRIQUE LAVIN

Shattering the invisible business wall.

That is the mission of the USC Black Staff and Faculty Caucus along with the Black Alumni: to get surrounding small and minority-owned companies to do business with the university.

Working with USC's Small Business Development Office, the caucus seeks new suppliers to provide goods and services for the university at competitive prices. The caucus arranges for South-Central businesses to go through the proper bureaucratic channels to compete for accounts offered by the university.

The group formed in the mid-1960s to work for equality on campus, said Kay Allen, president of the caucus and a member since 1979. But since the university gave the caucus official standing last June, the group has been able to turn its attentions off campus.

The caucus' business reach-out program is in line with the university's stated role to serve surrounding communities.

"One of the great things that the caucus has done is to collect business cards, put together a database list and send information packets out to businesses," said Kevin Kaauwai, senior administrator of the Small Business Development Office.

The office invites potential business partners to an orientation meeting, held once a week, and processes their application to do business at USC. Kaauwai said about one-third of the applicants eventually become university vendors.

Information: (213) 740-4561.

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