The London Borough of Harrow has been named the most small business friendly council in the capital for procurement.
The London region of the Federation of Small Businesses the London Councils, awarded them the title at an awards ceremony this month. Harrow Council received the award for its sustainable procurement project, which encourages business from local suppliers.
Harrow ensures small businesses are aware of opportunities to bid for council contracts, and has introduced an e-procurement system. In 2012/13 the council’s spend with local businesses increased from £21 million to £28 million. Spend with small firms grew from 10 per cent to 12 per cent. And the number of contracts with small firms has increased from 17.5 per cent of the total to 25 per cent.
Thaya Idaikkadar Harrow council leader and portfolio holder for contracts and procurement, said: “by making it easier for sme’s to bid to run our services we have bolstered the local economy. Our business growth rates are among the best in North West London and we outperform the economic powerhouses of Islington and Camden.”
Maybe some of the other councils, not just in London but throughout the country, could have a look at the practices and processes of Harrow to see how they too might improve.