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24 September 2013 | Marino Donati
The London Borough of Harrow has been named the most small business friendly council in the capital for procurement.
The council was given the title by the London region of the Federation of Small Businesses, and London Councils, at an awards ceremony this month.
The awards showcased the work of local authorities to support small businesses during the economic downturn, in especially cutting red tape and boosting local trade.
Harrow Council received the award for its sustainable procurement project, which encourages business from local suppliers. It makes sure small businesses are aware of opportunities to bid for council contracts, and has introduced an e-procurement system.
In 2012/13 the council’s spend with local businesses increased from £21 million to £28 million. Spend with small firms grew from 10 per cent to 12 per cent. And the number of contracts with small firms has increased from 17.5 per cent of the total to 25 per cent.
Harrow council leader and portfolio holder for contracts and procurement, councillor Thaya Idaikkadar said: “By making it easier for small to medium sized businesses to bid to run our services we have bolstered the local economy. Our business growth rates are among the best in North West London and we outperform the economic powerhouses of Islington and Camden.”