Cirencester and Cheltenham Chambers of Commerce Unite with FSB in Call for Big Business and Public Sector to Buy Local
Historically, large procurement contracts almost invariably went to the cheapest bidder which disproportionately favoured the biggest firms. But since the Social Value Act 2012, the decision process has changed somewhat. Now, companies who embrace CSR/ESG/Sustainability and ethical behaviour and offer good value score higher. This puts smaller companies with such principles and who are flexible and often generate a lower carbon footprint in a much stronger position.
On 11th March, the Chambers and FSB convened a panel of heads of procurement from St James’ Place, Spirax Sarco, Renishaw, Gloucestershire Constabulary and Ecotricity to discuss how we can encourage ‘think local, buy local’ to ensure much needed income for our SMEs in the county, thereby ensuring the money is kept in the county.
Adam Vines, President of Cirencester Chamber of Commerce said “There seems to be a real issue between some of the larger organisations utilising some of the local suppliers on their doorstep. We’ve got some amazing ethical small businesses here that really contribute to the community. It’s in everyone’s interest that they are supported”
Alex Chalk MP, Cheltenham, attended the session as did Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP, Cotswolds.
88% of businesses in Gloucestershire employ less than 10 people and it is important that they are kept fully up to speed with regards to tendering opportunities in the public and private sector. They need more knowledge of the requirements and processes to enable them to compete on a level playing field.
At the end of the session, it was agreed that a working party would be set up to keep the issue at the top of the agenda. Findings will be presented at the Gloucestershire Business Show in June where businesses can begin to understand the opportunities in more depth.
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