Columbia Provides COVID Resources to University Vendors During Virtual Vendor Town Hall

May 20, 2020

In response to the many challenges businesses and their staffs are facing because of the COVID-19 outbreak, University Facilities and Operations along with the Columbia-Harlem Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the University’s Central Procurement office hosted a virtual vendor town hall geared toward small and medium-sized and diverse vendors who work with the University. Through the event, the University shared the status of ongoing projects, briefed vendors on updates to the construction procurement and central purchasing processes, and provided resources available from the Columbia-Harlem SBDC, local organizations and the federal government that may be helpful during this time.  
“We understand that your business may be facing many challenges during this very turbulent time and hope that you, your family and staff are staying safe,” said AVP of University Supplier Diversity Tanya Pope during the event. “Most importantly, we want to be sure that your firm is ready to reengage once construction projects  begin again.”  

Following the executive order of Governor Andrew Cuomo to suspend nonessential construction work at least until May 15, 2020, the University continues to function in a limited way, needing vendors to provide essential services for emergencies, residential, on-site staff support, and financial transactions. To prepare firms for re-engagement, the supplier diversity and construction procurement vendor homepage provides an online resource guide for vendors interested in doing business with the University including contact information from all campuses on common issues and questions including central purchasing, purchase orders, vendor management and updates on central procurement.  

The Columbia-Harlem SBDC is now providing virtual training and one-to-one counseling to entrepreneurs and small business owners operating businesses in Upper Manhattan. A special landing page has been created for COVID relief, outlining the different resources provided by the Columbia-Harlem SBDC and Small Business Administration (SBA), including webinars, survival strategies, financial management, and step-by-step instructions on how to apply for the SBA Disaster Relief and the SBA Express Bridge Loan.   

Visit the Facilities and Operations vendors website for the latest information and access to resources from the Columbia University Facilities and Operations Vendor Town Hall, including a video recording of the vendor town hall, a copy of the presentation with helpful links and answers to frequently asked questions.