Social value: an SME edge

I had an interesting conversation this week about procurement portals. Yes, you heard that right.

James, an engineer, wasn’t registered on a particular portal as he’d been advised some time ago that SMEs weren’t welcome. They are now. Local Authorities have worked hard to split opportunities into smaller chunks to enable SMEs and local firms to win LA contracts.

I talked to James about his own procurement – which in turn supports local businesses. He also invests in his apprentices and supports local charitable causes and we’re talking more about what he can do to increase and measure his social value impact.

And this is why Local Authorities recognise the social value of SMEs and shopping locally.

James is now a member of Star Procurement’s portal, The Chest where you can find contracts for Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside and Trafford Councils, as well as NHS Tameside & Glossop, and NHS Trafford CCGs.

Over just a two year period, these councils increased local spend by 30%.

I know larger private sector firms are having these conversations about their own procurement channels, and for some time – I was having them in BiTC forums many years’ ago, but sustainability is a key differentiator for SMEs and it’s important to recognise and talk about the value they bring.

I love helping companies to realise and tell these stories.

Author: Sarah E Galligan

Corporate social responsibility and communications professional working with great companies for great causes.

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