Harrow Council has been crowned the best small business friendly council for procurement at the London Federation of Small Businesses awards.
The awards celebrated the work councils 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.
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. 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%.
Harrow Council Leader and Portfolio Holder for Contracts and Procurement, Cllr Thaya Idaikkadar, said: “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.