Historic Putteridge Bury, the University of Bedfordshire’s Knowledge Hub base on the outskirts of Luton, became a hive of activity as business people gave up to three sales pitches to public sector buyers at the Luton Borough Council event.
Each month Luton Borough Council procures an average £20 million in trades, goods and other services but it can be difficult for small businesses to get access to key decision makers.
The council’s head of business and consumer services Laura Church said: “For the suppliers, this is a great opportunity to pitch for local contracts, adding value to the supply chains and encouraging the public sector organisations to facilitate and encourage a ‘buy local’ culture” and support business growth.
“This is a great step for the public sector buyers in enabling procurement accessibility to local businesses for mutual benefit, growing the local economy and fostering meaningful, sustainable growth in the small business sector.”
Public sector buyer Rod While, head of strategy and governance at the Luton Clinical Commissioning Group, said he was there to listen to what businesses had to say, with an open mind as to possible contracts.
He said: “I was impressed by the enthusiasm and passion people have for their products and services. It is great that an event like this is held to give people an in-road into the public sector.
“I didn’t come with any particular contracts in mind but will be considering if anything I have heard here could be useful to the CCG.”
Jon Spellen, managing director of Dyno Locks and Alarms, in Barton-Le-Clay, said: “As well as the opportunity to meet buyers and expand our business in Bedfordshire, it has been useful for all the networking, too.”
Businessman Mick Driver, director of Ampthill-based DriverBuilders.co.uk, was at Meet The Buyer to speak to three potential buyers. He said: “I think things like Meet The Buyer are great to keep small businesses in the loop. It can be hard to meet the right people as most times you can’t even get in through the door.”
Sue Munn, of event partner Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We have been delighted to support Luton Borough Council at this event. It is also great news that some of our members have had very positive interviews.”
Buyers and suppliers at the Luton Borough Council Meet the Buyer event were given the opportunity to hear from CompeteFor.com the National Supply Chain Portal, which allows businesses to compete for relevant supply chain opportunities, promote themselves to the buying community and can in turn advertise their own supply chain opportunities.