The University of Utah has received an Award of Distinction from the U.S. Small Business Administration citing the university's "exemplary efforts" to promote area businesses run by women and minorities - about 600 of some 30,000 small businesses in the state.
Paul Edenfield, acting regional SBA administrator in Denver, said the U. is the first educational institution to receive the award and is among 10 larger federal contractors so honored. The U. oversees $130 million in federal contracts and grants. Only 60 contractors, about 2 percent of the firms the SBA works with, have received the award since it began in 1985.Edenfield said the university's Purchasing Office, the Finance Department and the Small Business Liaison Office have consistently received outstanding marks on SBA compliance reviews over the past five years.
The award will be presented June 24 at the Eccles Institute of Human Genetics on campus.
Barbara L. Reeves, small-business liaison in the U.'s Purchasing Office, said the U. was chosen in part for its founding of the Utah Supplier Development Council - the only nonprofit organization in the state dedicated to increasing dollars spent for the products and services of women and minority-owned businesses.