Boston, Mass. – The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce is pleased to officially announce the launch of its Pacesetters Initiative, a partnership of large and midsized Greater Boston Chamber member organizations who have committed to leveraging their collective purchasing power to create opportunities at scale for local enterprises of color. Pacesetters is a pillar of the Chamber’s overall Economic Growth Initiatives, aimed at increasing economic opportunity for all Greater Boston businesses, particularly minority business enterprises.

The Pacesetters Initiative launch is the result of a year-long collaboration between the Chamber, its Committee on Economic Opportunity - a sub-group of the Executive Committee charged with developing the united response of the business community economic inequality – and select Chamber members, including the ten inaugural Pacesetter organization which include:

  • Boston Red Sox
  • Comcast
  • Eastern Bank
  • Gilbane Building Company
  • Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce
  • John Hancock
  • Northeastern University
  • P&G Gillette
  • Partners HealthCare
  • Tufts Health Plan

Pacesetter companies are Chamber members who understand the business case of economic inclusion and who are committed to increasing their contracts with minority-owned businesses as suppliers of their companies’ products, supplies, and services. Together, they will work to set aspirational goals to enhance their individual existing supplier diversity programs and inspire the entire business community to do the same. Through the year, these Pacesetters will measure, report and increase spending with local minority-owned businesses; exchange best practices; and participate in the Chamber’s educational, networking and matchmaking events and programs.

“The Pacesetters Initiative is about seizing an opportunity to address the persistent issues of inequality in Greater Boston and building generational wealth for our region’s minority-owned businesses and communities of color,” said James E. Rooney, president & CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber. “We are incredibly grateful to our initial Pacesetter organizations for coming together with our Committee on Economic Opportunity to design an initiative that is built to not only succeed, but inspire the rest of the business community to join us in this important work. We look forward to sharing our results and announcing more and more Pacesetters as we grow this exciting initiative.”

As an inaugural member of the Chamber’s Pacesetters Initiative, we plan to build on our robust Supplier Diversity Program to increase our purchasing from minority-owned suppliers. This effort is an important element of creating additional economic opportunity and improving health in the communities we serve.

David Torchiana, MD President and CEO of Partners HealthCare

The Chamber spent 2017 recruiting a core group of Pacesetters to serve as early adopters and working with these companies to establish criteria for measuring program success, collective goals to achieve, defining key terms and creating ground rules for data sharing and eligibility criteria of potential suppliers. Now, the Pacesetters will set their targets, participate in forums for problem solving and sharing of best practices, and attend match-making events designed to connect qualified suppliers with Pacesetter organizations. The program is modeled after the Minority Business Acceleratorout of the Cincinnati Regional Chamber.

In addition to being one of the initial ten Pacesetters, the Greater Boston Chamber will also serve the role of convener, bringing the Pacesetters together and facilitating matchmaking events. The Chamber has already established a strong partnership with Eastern Bank’s Business Equity Initiative, which is focused on growing enterprises of color by leveraging Eastern’s networks and philanthropic dollars as well as providing targeted, customizable growth tools including embedded trusted strategic advisors, operational support, growth capital, and market access to enterprises of color positioned for growth. As the list of suppliers grows, the Chamber also plans to grow the number of participating Pacesetter organizations.

Partners HealthCare created its Supplier Diversity Program in 2004, designed to extend the Partners mission of community outreach, involve an increasingly more diverse group of suppliers to participate in the procurement operation of our health system, and maintain the highest quality patient care, research, education, and financial standards.