Small enterprises vital to Wealden’s business recovery
Publish Date: 18 June 2020
Wealden District Council’s procurement policy has a key role to play in the District’s Post–Covid recovery, as it seeks to maintain high levels of spending with local small and medium-sized businesses.
Council Leader Bob Standley urged local businesses to watch out for prospective new opportunities to work with Wealden District Council.
“We have tried to make our contract arrangements as simple as possible,” he said. “I would urge local businesses not to be put off looking to work with the Council because they think it will involve a pile of paperwork. Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) have a vital role to play in the recovery of our local economy. We would encourage them to be ready for every opportunity.”
The Council spent just under £4.5 million with Wealden businesses in 2019/20 – and 28% of its suppliers were based in the District. Overall, Wealden spent £25.7 million on procuring goods, services and capital work. Through its procurement policies, it was able to make savings of £900,000. The bulk of the Council’s spend – some 68% – was spent in East Sussex or neighbouring counties; and 45% of its overall spending was with SMEs.
Wealden is also host to the East Sussex Procurement Hub which provides procurement services to Wealden, Hastings and Rother councils as well as other local authorities. Last year it was able to secure a new joint insurance policy for these councils, and two West Sussex Councils. This will save the taxpayer a total of £5.32 million over the next five years.
Recent Covid-19 support measures enacted by the Council have seen £37 million distributed to local businesses through Small Business Grants and Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grants. It is planning to allocate an additional £2.6 million through the new Discretionary Business Grant.
Further information about Selling to Wealden can be found on the Wealden website. For details of all tender opportunities with the East Sussex Procurement Hub, visit the South East Shared Services portal.