Small businesses and the third sector
Small businesses and the third sector are important to North Lanarkshire Council's procurement policies because they are:
- A source of innovation, new ideas and products for North Lanarkshire Council.
- Often ideally positioned to respond quickly and flexibly to local needs.
- Capable of offering efficiencies, improved quality and service.
- Able to provide local solutions for hard to reach groups.
Fact and figures
- SMEs accounted for 99.8% of all businesses, 55.6% of employment and 52% of turnover within the UK. (Information provided by the Federation of Small Businesses.)
- 58% (4,130) of our suppliers are small businesses.
- North Lanarkshire Council spends £79 million a year with organisations based in North Lanarkshire.
- North Lanarkshire Council spends £210 million a year with small businesses.
- 6% (430) of our suppliers are voluntary organisations.
- North Lanarkshire Council spends £22 million a year with the voluntary sector.
(Information provided by North Lanarkshire Council - Procurement Spend Analysis 2006/07)
Support for the third sector
In recognition of the importance of small businesses and the third sector, North Lanarkshire Council is working to provide specific support to these supplier groups:
- We will introduce a single named contact to manage enquires from social economy organisations.
- We will support and participate in training programmes that help small businesses and voluntary organisations better understand how to do business with us.
- Our procurement officers will participate in training programmes to help them better understand how to do business with small businesses and voluntary organisations.
- We will organise a series of targeted 'Tender for Trade' events linked to identified procurement growth sectors and market opportunities.
- We will undertake a campaign to raise awareness within the local voluntary sector of the contract culture and purchaser expectations.
- We will produce a series of publications to raise local awareness of our procurement policy, practice and opportunities.
- We will commission a further in-depth analysis of our procurement process, expenditure and opportunities.
- We will consult further with the business community to identify and further reduce barriers to doing business with us.
- We will conduct, on request, a contract readiness assessment of interested social economy organisations based on our tender pre-qualification pro forma.
- We will provide a tailored package of business development and training assistance for interested social economy organisations.
- We will provide ongoing tendering and contract management support.