Lowe's offers small businesses the "Shark Tank" treatment

FILE - Daymond John of ABC's Shark Tank speaks at the Manufacturer and Business Association's 113th Annual Event at the Bayfront Convention Center, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018, in Erie, Pa. Lowe's is offering small businesses, particularly those owned by minorities, the “Shark Tank” treatment. The home improvement chain is teaming up with Daymond John to give potential suppliers the chance to pitch their products to a Fortune 500 company.

NEW YORK (AP) — Lowe's is offering small businesses, particularly those owned by minorities, the “Shark Tank” treatment.

The home improvement chain is teaming up with Daymond John, star of ABC’s “Shark Tank," to give potential suppliers the chance to pitch their products to a Fortune 500 company.

That will allow a small number of entrepreneurs to pitch their products directly to Lowe’s, sidestepping a traditionally arduous process of getting their goods sold in 2,200 stores run by the Mooresville, North Carolina company, and on lowes.com.

From Tuesday through Sept. 25 small business owners can apply. Lowe's is putting an emphasis on businesses run by the disabled, people of color and people in the LGBT community. Candidates will be narrowed down to 75, who will then be allowed to submit more in-depth pitches via video.

Five finalists will make a live virtual pitch, hosted by John, to Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellison and other executives. Lowe's will also help suppliers with tips on manufacturing their goods and other topics.

In July, the home improvement retailer more than doubled its small business grant program to $55 million, providing financial relief to minority-, women-owned and rural small businesses.

Ellison, one of only a few Black CEOs to run a Fortune 500 company, declined to say what percentage of its vendor base is minority-owned.

“We are on a mission to increase that number as much as we can," he said in an interview Tuesday.

———————

Follow Anne D’Innocenzio: http://twitter.com/ADInnocenzio

Recommended for you

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.