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Friday, December 08, 2023

Washington, D.C. — When Maurice Brewster, CEO of Mosaic Global Transportation in Redwood City, Calif., got the call from IBM Vice President Stan Litow inviting him to the White House just three days later, Brewster immediately cleared his schedule.

Over two dozen of the largest U.S. corporations met at the White House this July on behalf of the Small Business Administration (SBA) to discuss the progress of SupplierPay, a White House initiative that pairs Wall Street with Main Street to spur growth and ensure that the smaller companies are being paid rapidly (15 days through another initiative called QuickPay). Small businesses are especially vulnerable to slow payouts, and the expedited pay means better cash flow so that they can pay employees and use the funds for expansion and other expenses. Each of the corporations was allowed to invite one of the smaller companies that were benefitting from the program, so Brewster was IBM’s guest.

In 2011, IBM was one of the founding members of a program called Supplier Connection, which was designed as a partnership with other major corporations to not only help smaller businesses secure contracts, but to offer mentoring and invaluable business connections. Mosaic became part of the program shortly after its founding and has gone on to become one of Supplier Connection’s best success stories by contracting with eight of the member companies including IBM.

The highlight of the trip, however, was getting to meet President Barack Obama and actually discuss the issues personally with the leader of the free world. “Of all the small businesses in the room, I was the only one who got a chance to speak with him and tell him my experience,” says Brewster of the July 11th meeting. “He asked my thoughts on the Small Business Administration, and I told him that it honestly hadn’t benefited me. I told him how my application had been denied because I didn’t own my building and how they wouldn’t consider my mobile assets. He listened to everything I said and then told me that there were some announcements coming that might help someone like me. With that, he shook my hand.” Once Brewster receives the photo that also accompanied the hand shake, it will occupy a special place in his office, he says.

The meeting has made Brewster somewhat of a rock star to his colleagues who heard about the meeting. Although it hasn’t yet created any direct new business opportunities, he calls the meeting the single most “positively impactful moment of his business career.” The story does have a silver lining, professionally: Brewster says that the SBA re-evaluated his previously denied application and has since approved it, giving him access to additional small business loans if needed in the future.

“Regardless of your political persuasion, whether Republican, Independent, or Democrat, it was an incredible honor to meet the most powerful man in the world,” he says. “I’ve seen him on TV, but to actually experience him being introduced in person, knowing what that’s like … it still gives me chills.”

To see the SBA press release, visit

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