Four local authorities in Yorkshire with a combined annual spend of over £1.4bn have joined forces to help more smaller businesses bid for public sector contracts.
The authorities said developing marketplaces for SMEs and voluntary, community and social enterprises (VCSEs) would support local communities impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The councils – City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, North Yorkshire County Council, Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council, and Barnsley Council – are working with Go4Growth, a programme set up to link SMEs and VCSEs with the public sector.
The authorities said they recognised the need to provide more support and guidance for organisations that find the reality of finding and securing work in the public sector disproportionately harder than their larger competitors.
Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of Bradford Council, said: “It’s not about doing local businesses any favours, they still have to compete fairly with businesses across the country.
“However we can make sure they are prepared and skilled enough to write bids and tenders to compete with the best. We want every penny spent to strengthen local businesses and social organisations. This is a great way to help our local small businesses get free access to support when they are looking to win new business with the public sector.”
Go4Growth is funded by the local authorities so businesses can take the guidance, tools and resources at no cost to them.
Cllr Jane Scullion, Calderdale Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and strategy, said: “By supporting this programme, we want to show our understanding and commitment to the role our smaller businesses and organisations play in the local economy, especially in the light of the impact of Covid-19.”
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