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Black businesses deliver value that helps system serve customers and communities

Southern Company’s commitment to moving to equity includes increasing our spending with diverse suppliers and placing greater focus on doing more business with Black-owned businesses. During Black History Month, we reflect on the contributions of Black businesses that enable us to better serve customers and our communities.

As part of its work throughout the year to advance our commitment to equity, the Supplier Sustainability and Inclusive Growth team helps support the advancement of diverse suppliers. The team – part of Operations’ Supply Chain Management organization – helps identify opportunities across the system for small and diverse suppliers to do more work with us.

Diverse suppliers that deliver value to the system every day include Black-owned businesses CJ’s Ventures and Basha Services.

CJ’s Ventures, a waste management and demolition company in Hueytown, Alabama, began working in 2021 with Alabama Power to support its investments in fiber-optic technology to improve reliability and bring more broadband internet access to rural communities. CJ’s Ventures has provided key logistics support and heavy-hauling services for Power Delivery and Southern Power, respectively. The company has a range of capabilities in demolition and freight management, and has served Jefferson County and surrounding areas for more than 35 years. It focuses strongly on safety performance and is dedicated to hiring local resources.

Clinton Harris Jr., president of CJ’s Ventures, said: “Diversity does not make our company unique. Our understanding of the challenges diverse businesses face gives our team a unique perspective on business and our partnership with Alabama Power. This perspective drives a culture of creativity and a desire to be better.”

In Georgia, Basha Services was awarded a Master Environmental Services Agreement by Georgia Power and has been a valued partner for four years. The Norcross-based environmental remediation company has completed spill response at Plant Wansley and assisted with several environmental projects. Basha Services has also supported Alabama Power as a Tier II supplier on ash pond projects at Plant Gorgas with environmental remediation services.

Neville Anderson, Basha Services president, said that working with Georgia Power has helped his company expand and provide better benefits for its employees.

“Our partnership with Georgia Power has allowed us to hire top talent, expand our capabilities, purchase new construction equipment and vehicles and enhance and diversify our services with the addition of new technologies,” Anderson said.

Basha Services’ growth has also helped the company enhance its strategic position, strengthen banking partnerships, expand into new geographic areas and potentially explore acquiring other firms.

Leonard Smith, Supplier Sustainability and Inclusive Growth director for Supply Chain Management, believes that the growth of Black- and diverse-owned businesses furthers Southern Company’s positive impact on local communities.

“The Supplier Sustainability and Inclusive Growth organization strives to be a global leader in creating equitable and sustainable communities through economic inclusion,” Smith said. 

“Southern Company is uniquely positioned to help make this happen in the communities we serve. Working with companies like CJ Ventures and Basha Services advances our supplier diversity strategy, increases the system’s access to innovative products and services, and helps diverse companies gain market share in new and developing communities,” he said.

The hard work to advance supplier diversity is helping Southern Company make significant progress toward our goal of increasing spending with diverse suppliers to 30% by 2025. In 2021, 26% of the system’s spending was with diverse suppliers.