Afternoon Coffee: Small businesses set to receive PPP loans this week; General Electric’s wind turbine is reshaping the industry; Spend Matters and SIG team up to create services procurement survey

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Small businesses are set to receive more aid this week as the US government re-opens its signature small business pandemic aid program with $284 billion in new funds and revamped rules, according to Reuters.

The rules are hoping to get cash to the neediest businesses while monitoring fraud and abuse. The Small Business Administration (SBA) announced Friday that it is relaunching a third round of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) this week, starting with small community financial institutions today. Larger lenders will receive aid in the coming days, the article said.

Administration officials are expecting the funds will be sufficient for demand. Under the program, lenders on behalf of the government distribute loans that can be forgiven if the cash is spent on eligible costs — things like payroll or rent, the article said. By prioritizing smaller lenders, the SBA is addressing criticism from lawmakers that said minority and women-owned businesses didn’t get enough money during the first PPP rounds last year compared to bigger businesses.

General Electric develops Haliade-X wind turbine set to disrupt entire industry

A wind turbine prototype developed by General Electric is disrupting the offshore wind industry, according to the New York Times.

The Haliade-X is the first generation of new machines that are about a third more powerful than the largest already in commercial service. It has changed the business calculations for wind equipment makers, developers and investors. G.E.’s machines will have a generating capacity that is remarkable — a single one is able to turn out 13 megawatts of power, enough to light a town of 12,000 homes, the article said.

The turbine will be planted at sea, where developers learned to plant larger and more numerous turbines than on land to capture breezes that are stronger and more reliable. The race to build bigger turbines has moved faster than industry figures expected, the article said. The Haliade-X generates nearly 30 times more electricity than the first machines installed in 1991.

The demand for bigger machines will continue. However, there is an expectation that the demand for bigger sizes will level out when it doesn’t make economic sense. “We will also reach a plateau; we just don’t know where it is yet,” Morten Pilgaard Rasmussen, chief technology officer of the offshore wind unit of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, told the NYT.

Spend Matters and SIG team up to distribute procurement services survey — share your experience!

Organizations spend over $20 trillion globally to procure services, according to estimates. On average, services in the US make up nearly 60% of organizations’ total non-payroll external spend. Despite the size of the mega-spend category, procurement leaders agree that most categories of spend are not optimally managed and there are few best practices.

Therefore, Spend Matters and the Sourcing Industry Group (SIG) partnered to field a survey of procurement professionals (CPOs, procurement directors, category managers, etc.) to better understand how and to what extent procurement is using enterprise procurement technology and other solutions. The survey will hope to answer two burning questions: how organizations (1) source and manage "services" and (2) how they use technology to do so.

Only practitioner survey submissions from end-user organizations are considered valid. Practitioners include those who have a designated role — whether or not by title — in the sourcing and managing of an organization’s non-payroll purchases from third-party suppliers. The survey is approximately 25 questions.

Follow this link to learn more about the services survey and help us understand more about this important procurement category.

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