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16 May 2024 · 4 min. read

EPB supports small and diverse business leaders at Supplier Diversity Day

Supporting minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses benefits entire community

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (May 16, 2024) – EPB will host Supplier Diversity Day: Energizing Communities through Economic Inclusion on Thursday, May 23. The one-day event is part of EPB’s strategy to work with and support businesses of all sizes to enhance quality of life across the Chattanooga community and beyond. Supplier Diversity Day offers a forum for minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses to network with industry leaders and hear from experts on expanding opportunities, including how to work with EPB.

Supplier Diversity Day details

  • What: EPB Supplier Diversity Day
  • Where: The Chattanoogan Hotel, 1201 Broad St, Chattanooga, TN 37402
  • When: Thursday, May 23, from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Cost: Free, limited to the first 150 registrants.
  • How: (breakfast and lunch provided)

“At EPB, we’re committed to working with companies that provide the best value for our customers, and that includes working with businesses of all sizes that reflect the community we serve,” said EPB CEO David Wade.

$63 million community benefit

Over the last six years, EPB has contracted with businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans and disabled individuals for services valued at $42.7 million, including architectural, engineering, computer systems design and more. EPB used the nationally recognized IMPLAN analysis software to calculate the economic impact of its MWOB purchasing program. Beyond working with talented businesses to complete high quality work, spending with MWOB contractors created a total community benefit of $63.3 million, a nearly 50% increase from EPB’s initial outlay for goods and services.

“Most of the small and diverse businesses EPB works with are based in Chattanooga, so our purchases go right back into our local economy, whether it helps those companies hire local staff or lease local office space,” said EPB Manager, Minority & Women Owned Business (MWOB) Kristin Copeland. “When businesses of all sizes succeed, it helps create jobs and more benefits for our entire community.”

EPB’s small and diverse business program

Supplier Diversity Day is part of a comprehensive strategy to work with more small and diverse businesses. EPB identifies MWOBs and works closely with them to understand their ownership and operation and find opportunities to work with them or assist with networking opportunities. Other efforts in EPB’s MWOB focus include:

  • Hosting workshops, discovery calls and demos, and tours of EPB’s facilities throughout the year to familiarize small and diverse companies with EPB’s procurement process.
  • Assisting with the process of demonstrating eligibility for State of Tennessee’s Diversity Business Enterprise program and other certifications.
  • With EPB’s Safety Department, offering Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) training at no cost to small and diverse businesses.
  • Working with the City of Chattanooga’s Purchasing Expo and many other cross-community efforts.

EPB’s MWOB program requires that businesses are 51% owned or operated by actively involved minority, women, service-disabled or veteran individuals. To qualify as a small business, companies have sales totaling less than $4 million annually.


About EPB

EPB is a customer-focused technology company that delivers innovative power and telecommunications solutions to the Chattanooga area in pursuit of its mission to enhance the quality of life for the community it serves. In 2010, EPB completed a 100% fiber optic network accessible to all its customers as the basis for launching America’s first community-wide Gig speed internet. The company still operates the world’s fastest community-wide internet service today at speeds up to 25 Gig. EPB also utilizes Chattanooga’s fiber optic network as the communications backbone for the most advanced and highly automated power distribution system in the United States. In 2022, EPB continued its commitment to keeping Chattanooga on the cutting edge by establishing our nation’s first commercially available quantum network—EPB Quantum Network℠ powered by Qubitekk. This effort aligns local job creation efforts with the national priority to accelerate the commercialization of quantum technology.

Since switching the lights on for its first electric customer in 1939, EPB has grown to serve nearly a half a million people across a 600-square-mile service area with cutting-edge infrastructure that integrates power distribution and telecommunications. At the same time, EPB keeps customer benefit at the center of all its efforts, earning recognition from J.D. Power as the #1 Mid-Sized Utility in the South for the last eight consecutive years based on customer satisfaction ratings. Learn more at

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