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26th October 2017

Working with local SMEs

NEPO is committed to maximising opportunities for local businesses and SMEs. Latest figures show that NEPO’s Member Authorities’ spending with North East businesses totalled £1.5bn in 2016/17, equating to 61% of total expenditure. The majority of this regional spending (70%) was with small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), a significant achievement given that central government’s SME spending target is 33%.

Councillor Veronica Dunn, chair of NEPO’s Collaborative Procurement Sub-Committee said:

“This news is testament to North East local government’s commitment to support the region’s economy. Public sector procurement plays a key role in this; NEPO and its Member Authorities develop procurement practices in order to maximise opportunities for local businesses and SMEs to participate in competitive tendering process. For example, we regularly consult with the market to better understand how to develop lotting structures in large procurements. We also work with our contracted suppliers to encourage use of local businesses and labour in their supply chains. We will build on our successes to ensure that the region continues to benefit from best practice, innovation and ambition.”

Ross Smith, Director of Policy at North East England Chamber of Commerce and chair of NEPO’s Stakeholder Engagement Group commented:

“NEPO has worked closely with organisations such as the Chamber to deliver a programme of support designed to boost the region’s competitive tendering skills. The news that more than six in every ten pounds spent by North East councils remains in the region, demonstrates how effective and far-reaching these initiatives can be. We will continue to work together to ensure that public sector procurement has a positive impact in the North East.”

Read about how local SME, Embleton Dairies, won work with NEPO.