Mac Pro

Apple’s operations chief said today that the company paid out over $3 billion to small businesses that supplied Apple with parts for its products in 2013. That money was split up between around 7,000 different suppliers as part of the SupplierPay program started by the White House.

SupplierPay is an extension of a federal program called QuickPay that required the government to issue payments to small business partners within 15 days of billing in an attempt to promote economic growth. With SupplierPay, the program is extended (optionally) to private businesses like Apple.

Among the companies that Apple worked with in 2013 were Metal Impact, which is repsonsible for building certain components of the “Made in USA” Mac Pro and the Arizona-based GT Advanced Technologies, which supplies sapphire crystal for upcoming products such as the iPhone 6. According to Metal Impact, Apple’s business has been a key factor in its financial success as well as in pushing the company to find new ways to work.

We can expect to hear even more stories like this as Apple continues to find new ways to invest in small businesses right here in the United States.