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New group hopes to connect small, large NM businesses

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Several large New Mexico companies have launched a campaign aimed at making it easier for the state’s smaller businesses to work with them.

WeConnectNM, a group funded by Public Service Company of New Mexico, DaVita Medical Group, the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center and Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico, will officially launch Thursday.

“There’s a lot of money being spent by the larger organizations here that the smaller ones don’t necessarily know about,” said Arellana Cordero, CFO of Southwest Capital Bank and a member of WeConnectNM’s advisory board. “We want New Mexico’s small businesses to know they are capable of meeting big business needs.”

WeConnectNM’s website currently highlights each company’s impact on the New Mexico economy. PNM’s profile includes a link to the company’s procurement portal; the profile for Blue Cross Blue Shield contains information about the organization’s grant and fundraiser sponsorship programs.

A statement provided by the company said the second phase of the campaign, to be launched next year, will include “proprietary software that connects companies of varying sizes with (New Mexico-based) contractors and vendors.”

The statement described WeConnectNM as an effort to “build up New Mexico’s economy via increases in local investment.”

PNM spokesman Dan Ware said the word “investment” was being used broadly to refer to business opportunities between the state’s larger and smaller operators.

“We want businesses to think about staying to closer to home, first,” said Ware.

A news release announcing the launch was sent to the Journal by a public relations firm based in Philadelphia, Penn. Cordero said the firm was chosen because they had a track record of building similar groups elsewhere.