In his monthly column, Paul Miles Rogers of the Federation of Small Businesses discusses the positive effects of buying local and how small businesses can benefit from securing council contracts.
As we know, small businesses are the engine room of the economy, employing more than half of all private sector workers and contributing 50 per cent of UK GDP – in other words 50 percent of how much is produced, spent and the income generated for the economy. It is therefore vitally important that local councils consider their needs, particularly when they are sourcing suppliers.
Our research shows for every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business (SME), 63p is re-spent in the local area compared to 40p in every £1 spent with a larger business. This means that money spent with local businesses stays in the local economy, creating positive knock-on effects for jobs and prosperity.
Locally, the FSB have been working with Rugby Borough Council and Warwickshire County Council for a number of years to develop a more streamlined procurement process for small firms. Both councils have always been a great supporter of helping local small businesses access contracts, and last year helped the FSB develop a procurement charter that encourages local authorities to provide a seamless procurement process for local small firms. This charter was adopted nationally and many other local authorities are now doing more business with small firms as a result.
Hopefully, Rugby-based firms will have heard of and already registered for the Coventry, Solihull, Warwickshire Joint E-Tendering System (CSW JETS), which allows businesses to view supplier opportunities from all participating authorities, making it much easier to hear about and bid for work. Businesses only need to register once and they will be notified when opportunities arise, so bidding for work online couldn’t be easier.
The FSB recommends that all businesses take advantage of the portal and register today as you never know what opportunities are just round the corner!
The site can be visited at www.csw-jets.co.uk