Rugby Borough Council signs up to help small businesses

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Rugby Borough Council has pledged to help small businesses by signing up to a new charter.

The council has signed the Small Business Friendly Procurement Charter, the brainchild of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

The charter aims to break down barriers which often stop small firms securing contracts with councils. It contains 15 ‘best practice’ recommendations for councils to adopt in the procurement process.

The charter was inspired by the findings of the FSB’s report, Local Procurement: Making the Most of Small Businesses.

The report highlighted how keeping business local delivered better value for money, with 63p out of every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business re-spent in the local area, compared to 40p of every £1 spent with a larger firm.

Paul Rogers, chair of the Rugby branch of the FSB, said: “We are delighted that Rugby Borough Council have given their commitment to the charter and we look forward to working with them to open up opportunities for small firms.”

Cllr Sally Bragg, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for resources and corporate governance, said the council had already implemented many of the best practices included in the charter, but was keen to extend its commitment to helping small businesses in the procurement process.

“We know the vital role small businesses have to play in the success of our economy,” Cllr Bragg added.

“By engaging directly with small businesses and making the procurement process more accessible, we can deliver benefits to the council, businesses and our local economy.”

Rugby Borough Council won the Best Small Business Friendly Programme or Campaign award at the FSB’s Local Authority Awards in July.

The award recognised the success of the Retail Start-Up Scheme, which offers expert advice and support to independent businesses looking to open in the town centre.