Chicago Purchasing Council

Chicago Purchasing Council
Chicago Purchasing Council

Founders of the Chicago Regional Purchasing Council
Founders/Founding Members:

AT&T (formerly Western Electric)
AMOCO (formerly Standard Oil of Indiana; now part of BP)
Bell & Howell
Carson Pirie Scott
Chicago Chamber of Commerce
Chicago Urban League
CNA Insurance Companies
Commonwealth Edison
Continental Bank (acquired by Bank of America in 1994)
First Chicago Corporation
Hewlett-Packard Company
Illinois Bell (owned by AT&T)
Inland Steel Company
Jewel Food Stores
Lockheed Corporation
Montgomery Ward
National Can Company
R. Donnelly & Sons
Sears Roebuck Company

Following the Chicago riots in the mid-1960s, several corporations with headquarters and operations throughout the region realized one of the underlying causes for the riots was the lack of investments in the black communities which contributed to the lack of jobs and lack of opportunities to develop, grow and expand business opportunities for businesses in those communities.  Further, there was no platform to dialogue and connect with business owners regardless of the social and political climates.

A one-day business fair was established to provide black business owners the opportunity to meet corporate personnel responsible for sourcing products and services locally and regionally. The outcome of this fair resulted in several corporations and non-profit organizations deciding that meeting with these business owners once a year was beneficial. However, one-day a year was not sufficient to establish on-going, productive business relationships.

Thereafter, created the Chicago Regional Purchasing Council in 1968, the first minority purchasing council in the United States.  The work, vision, leadership and financial support these companies and entities provided to this council led to the creation of the first office of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) located in Chicago, and the establishment of a network of minority supplier development councils throughout the country that remains in existence today.

These companies and non-profit entities were the pioneers and trailblazers that laid the foundation for the inclusion of minority businesses in private sector and public sector economies, commerce and industries.