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New support to help small companies win supply chain work

Posted onPosted on 18th Jan

Local small and medium-sized businesses are set to benefit from more support when bidding for national infrastructure project work and other large-scale contracts.

Councillors at Nottinghamshire County Council’s Policy Committee have given the go-ahead for the new £10,000 online supply chain opportunities programme which includes expert advice and support on how to be ‘tender ready’ as well as highlighting national contract opportunities. The programme aims to help at least 450 companies and will run over the next few months as part of ongoing COVID-19 support.

One small company benefiting from council contacts is family-run DJ & M Bower Tarmac Surfacing Ltd, based in Sutton. It has been awarded contracts for its work which includes repaving paths, car parks and constructing new disabled ramps and landings at a dozen of Nottinghamshire schools, including Toot Hill school in Bingham and Brookhill Leys Primary and Nursery School in Eastwood.

Dave Bower is one of the five-strong team which includes his wife Michelle. He said: “These County Council contracts have helped us remain very busy over this last year, despite the pandemic.

“We may be a small firm, but we have big ambitions and these contracts have helped us earn our professional, reliable reputation over the years. We take great pride in the work we do at local schools around the county.

Welcoming the new support to help with tendering for larger projects, Dave added: “Any extra help and support that can be offered to help smaller companies like ours to tender for larger scale work or to sub-contract for national contracts would be welcomed.

“Often tendering processes can be very lengthy and can be where smaller companies with less resources can come unstuck.”

Coun Kay Cutts, leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “With the vast majority of Nottinghamshire companies classed as small and medium-sized, these enterprises are the backbone of the economy and therefore key to our post-pandemic recovery.

“This new programme is one of many County Council initiatives supporting local growth.

“It will help our local supply chain to win more work when it comes to national infrastructure projects such as HS2, which will in turn safeguard and create new jobs.

“Where public money is being invested in infrastructure locally, it is only right that we ensure that it brings the greatest benefit to the county’s businesses and to local labour, goods and services which have been hard-hit by the pandemic.

“And with more than half all the Council contracts awarded to local businesses and suppliers, Nottinghamshire County Council continues to help support people’s livelihoods, boost local spend and help businesses to balance the books at a very challenging time.

“This includes lucrative supply chain opportunities created by Council investments such as the Gedling Access Road and infrastructure work at the planned new community at Top Wighay.”

The new online supply chain sessions will be led by business experts and will be run in partnership with East Midlands Chamber. The programme aims to deliver sessions to over 450 Nottinghamshire businesses, with face-to-face events taking place when practical.

Nottinghamshire County Council’s ongoing, dedicated business support has proved particularly vital over recent months given the significant impact of Covid-19 on the local economy. Operating in partnership with the D2N2 Growth Hub, this support includes virtual events and workshops and promoting the availability of national government and local support.

Virtual ‘meet the buyer’ events are also planned this year, focusing on the Council’s procurement processes, encouraging smaller organisations to tender for locally available work. This will build on the success of two well-attended, pre-pandemic events held in partnership with the East Midlands Chamber.