American Airlines today furthered its commitment to small businesses
throughout the country by announcing it will support the U.S. Small
Business Administration’s (SBA) Business Matchmaking program. The national
initiative provides face-to-face meetings between small business owners
and key decision-makers from local, state and federal government agencies,
as well as large corporations, for training and actual contract
opportunities.As part of its commitment, American Airlines will participate in all
regional events throughout 2004, and last week had a strong presence at
the Western Regional Business Matchmaking event held in Anaheim, Calif.
(details at http://www.businessmatchmaking.com/ ). American Airlines will
contribute to the program in three ways: meet face to face with small
business representatives at Business Matchmaking events, provide speakers
and panelists at events, and offer information and incentivized free
enrollment in its Business ExtrAA(R) program, its customized travel
program for small businesses.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our nation’s economy and are vitally
important to American Airlines, both as suppliers and customers,” said Dan
Garton, executive vice president-Marketing for American Airlines.
“Business Matchmaking, the largest such contracting initiative ever
undertaken, provides a great opportunity for our procurement
representatives to meet personally to determine how we can do more
“We are so very pleased to welcome American Airlines to Business
Matchmaking, and view this relationship as an excellent opportunity to
provide even greater value to participating companies,” said SBA
Administrator Hector Barreto in his keynote address last week in welcoming
1,000 small companies to Anaheim, Calif., for the largest-ever Business
American Airlines: A Diverse Company With Diverse Needs
Business Matchmaking participants will have an opportunity to meet with
American Airlines procurement representatives to discuss the variety of
products and services the company needs to run the world’s largest airline.
“It may be surprising, but American Airlines purchases everything from
gourmet chocolate to jet fuel to oven racks,” said Nancy Walker, manager-
Supplier Diversity and Business Strategies for American Airlines and a
senior presenter at the Business Matchmaking events. “This gives us a
chance to meet face to face with small business owners to discover
products and services that can contribute to our customers’ travel
experience and our overall operations.”
Business Matchmaking also includes educational workshops and panels
covering a variety of topics such as financing options for small
businesses, marketing and sales techniques, and working effectively with
government agencies and large corporations. As a supporter of Business
Matchmaking, American Airlines will provide senior procurement
representatives to serve as panelists to offer insights on how to
successfully work with large corporations such as American Airlines.
To learn more about American Airlines’ supplier program, small business
owners can visit http://www.aa.com/supplierdiversity .
Recognizing the unique challenges that small businesses face, American
Airlines created the Business ExtrAA program to provide flexible solutions
for a company’s travel needs. The Business ExtrAA program rewards
companies for choosing American Airlines using a free travel incentive.
Companies receive Business ExtrAA points for money spent on tickets for
travel on American Airlines, American Eagle(R) and AmericanConnection(R).
Business ExtrAA points may be redeemed for more than 40 award options,
including international travel, First- and Business-Class travel,
upgrades, Admirals Club(R) awards and more. Individual employees continue
to earn AAdvantage Miles while their companies earn Business ExtrAA
points. Small business owners can register online at
http://www.businessextraa.com/ or in person at Business Matchmaking events.