ARGYLL and Bute Council is doing its best to ensure that local businesses and third sector organisations are able to supply goods and services to the public sector.
Recognising the importance of this, the council has joined the Supplier Development Programme (SDP) and now provides companies and organisations based in Argyll and Bute with free access to support with public sector procurement - supplying goods and services to the local authority.
The help available through the SDP includes free training workshops and events, targeted at different levels of experiences, as well as a range of tailored information and guides designed to break down jargon and demystify the procurement process.
Argyll and Bute Council also arranged SDP workshops for local companies in April and May, including 'Is the Public Sector Right for You?' events in Dunoon, Lochgilphead and Oban and a 'Quality Policy' session in Inveraray. Over 45 people attended the workshops.
The events featured trainers with expert knowledge of the subject area and provided practical advice to the local businesses who attended. Also on hand to offer support were members of Argyll and Bute Council's procurement and Business Gateway teams.
Feedback from the workshops was overwhelmingly positive, with those attending appreciating the opportunity to pick up tips and ask questions to the trainers. Comments from the sessions included 'excellent presenters', 'liked the opportunity to contact relevant people and 'demystified complex process of preparing to bid for public contracts'.
Anyone interested in finding out more can register with the SDP for free at www.sdpscotland.co.uk where there is also access to free workshops as well as comprehensive support.
Argyll and Bute Council further reinforced its commitment to helping businesses to supply goods and services by attending the SDP's annual 'Meet the Buyer' event. During a very busy day, the council's procurement and Business Gateway staff spoke to over 150 companies that are interested in becoming council suppliers.
The council's lead councillor for customer services, Louise Glen-Lee said: "We are all aware of the need for a strong Argyll and Bute economy and it is important that it's as easy as possible for local companies to find out how to supply their goods and services to the council.
"Anyone who would like to find out more can visit www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/business-and-trade/selling-council or call our Business Gateway team on 01546 605459."