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Sep 13 2013

Harrow Council: We’re Small Business Friendly!

harrow_council_logo2Harrow Council has been crowned the best small business friendly council for procurement at a prestigious awards ceremony held at the CBI Conference Centre at Centrepoint (Thursday 5th September, 2013).

Organised by the London region of The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and London Councils, the awards showcased the work authorities have put in place to support their small and micro business communities in these tough economic times.

Cutting red-tape and boosting local trade were top of the agenda at the awards ceremony as local authorities battled it out in the first awards designed to recognise councils’ support for small businesses in London.

Harrow Council received the award for its sustainable procurement project, which encourages business from local suppliers, makes sure that businesses are aware of opportunities to bid for contracts with the council, and for introducing an e-procurement system.

The Council’s procurement strategy, which was adopted in 2011, has resulted in an increase in the percentage of spend with local small and medium sized businesses. Only four other Councils from across the capital won awards on Thursday (September 5th). In 2012/13 despite a shrinking budget, local spend increased from £21m to £28m and spend with small firms from 10% to 12% of total. The number of contracts with small firms has increased from 17.5% of the total to 25%.

There were four categories in the awards: Best Cutting of Red Tape, Best Small Business Friendly Procurement, Best Campaign to Support Local Trade and Best All Round Small-Business-Friendly Borough. In London small firms account for 97 per cent of businesses and half of the city’s 3.4 million jobs.

Harrow Council Leader and Portfolio Holder for Contracts and Procurement, Cllr Thaya Idaikkadar, said: “Supporting local businesses and town centres is at the heart of what we do and I am incredibly proud that all of our hard work has been recognised with this award. 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. The future of Harrow is bright because it is dependent on our local businesses, and we will do everything we can to protect these vital assets for our borough.”

 

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