01 April 2004
A local authority in Essex next week launches a pilot project to help small and medium-sized firms compete more effectively for contracts in the county.
Thurrock Council already spends 25 per cent of its procurement budget with local SMEs. Now it wants to encourage neighbouring councils in the Thames Gateway region to do the same.
The initiative, Regional Accreditation for SME Sustainability (Regass), will also offer practical training and advice to small suppliers.
Thames Gateway is undergoing massive redevelopment (see Features
, 18 March), and the council wants to ensure that local electricians, plumbers and other contractors win their fair share of the business.
"Our aim is to stimulate the local economy, whether firms are working for the council or not," said Margaret Gozna, principal procurement officer at Thurrock.
"If we think only as purchasers, ignoring economic development, we are getting things very wrong."Viewpoint: Why local SMEs matter