Press Release

Collaborating Is Key to Small Business Growth and Sustainability During COVID-19

Small Businesses

The COVID pandemic has changed how businesses operate as they try to find new ways to not just survive during this difficult economic time but to grow and thrive. As businesses adapt their company visions and operational strategies, initiating the right partnerships can help a company sustain its operations, drive growth, and position it for future success.

As much as any other business, Minority Business Enterprises, or MBEs, have faced business devastation. Through new opportunities, partnerships and a devout resoluteness, some are reaffirming themselves as not just thriving businesses, but companies that are poised to lead economic recoveries locally, statewide and nationally.

The Pacific Southwest Minority Supplier Development Council (PSWMSDC) is the certification agency for Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) in Arizona and San Diego. PSWMSDC works to keep its membership informed about legislative and policy changes that may impact small businesses, while also providing opportunities for MBEs to connect with corporations that are looking to diversify their supply chain, thereby introducing them to potential business opportunities.

There is no better example to illustrate PSWMSDC’s impact on company growth than Phoenix-based companies GMI and Valor Global. The partnership with PSWMSDC has led to GMI, a professional IT solutions company, and Valor Global, offering call center solutions to clients across the globe, becoming two of the largest minority-owned businesses in Arizona. Both organizations are owned by Vicki and Simer Mayo, who credit the PSWMSDC as an amplifying factor in their growth.

“As a minority entrepreneur, starting out you can feel like you’re completely on your own,” said Simer Mayo, CEO of GMI. “PSWMSDC made sure that didn’t happen. At every step of our growth, they have been there to open doors, make introductions, and support us in every way possible. They’ve been our amplifier, giving us a voice and a presence we wouldn’t have had on our own.”

The growth of GMI has led to both significant increases in revenue and meaningful expansion. The company has grown from a local Phoenix business to having locations in Arizona, Washington, and Idaho, as well as, the Philippines and Costa Rica. GMI has expanded its IT Solutions offerings and serves as the IT Solutions provider across multiple industries including federal, state and local government, education, corporate, healthcare, and communications. As COVID’s impact has translated to slowed or stagnated growth in many organizations, GMI has continued its growth trajectories by growing over 40% year-to-date.

As corporations actively seek ways to diversify their supply chain, organizations such as PSWMSDC are vital to creating long-lasting collaborations and expanding business opportunities. PSWMSDC has played a significant role in fueling growth for MBEs by being a critical connector with the business community, consistently opening doors to new opportunities.

Currently, there are 317 MBEs in Arizona and San Diego, with a combined aggregate revenue of over $13.46 billion. They employ more than 54,400 individuals, of which, more than 21,100 are people of color.

“GMI’s growth is evidence of one of the benefits of being a certified MBE,” said Patricia Crenshaw, President and CEO of the Pacific Southwest Minority Supplier Development Council. “Through relationships nurtured by its participation with PSWMSDC, GMI has grown to become a premier, global, information technology supplier. We look forward to helping GMI continue to grow and solidify its leadership in the marketplace.”

To become a certified MBE, a company must be at least 51% owned, operated, and controlled, on a daily basis, by individuals who are Asian Indian, Asian-Pacific, Black, Hispanic or Native American. Once you are an MBE, you are nationally recognized and your certification is accepted by corporations, health care organizations, educational institutions, public and private agencies. The certification allows MBEs access to companies that have diversified supply chains to meet their diversity goals. To learn the benefits and requirements of the MBE certification, please visit

About GMI

GMI provides transformative and comprehensive Information Technology Solutions, relentlessly focused on helping customers achieve their desired business outcomes. GMI offerings include Managed Services, Networking, Data Center, Cloud, Voice and Collaboration, Strategy and Assessments, Security, and Professional Services, as well as hardware and software solutions with best in-class technology. GMI is also one of the largest and most experienced minority-owned small businesses in the nation.  To learn more, visit


The Pacific Southwest Minority Supplier Development Council (PSWMSDC) was founded in 1993. It is the Arizona and San Diego County-based affiliate of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). One of 23 regional affiliates of the NMSDC, PSWMSDC is vital member of the network, providing a local touch point for expanding the interests of our corporate members and certified minority businesses. To learn more, visit

Simer Mayo, CEO, GMI.

Patricia Crenshaw, President and CEO, Pacific Southwest Minority Supplier Development Council.

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