You can find it in Birmingham!

By on 02/08/2013 in Blog

Rokneddin Shariat, Project Manager for Finditinbirmingham, talks about the project and how it boosts business and jobs in the city.

Finditinbirmingham is Birmingham City Council's procurement portal, where we buy the goods and services that the council needs to go about its business and where we make sure that we do our very best to keep the Birmingham pound local.

All the evidence suggests that buying from local small companies will help the local economy, and this message has been reinforced recently by the results of the latest research by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)

According to this research, buying from local small companies leads to better economic outcomes than buying from local large companies, by a factor of 50%. It means that the benefit to the local economy is 1.5 times better when buying from local small firms.  This is not surprising given that local small firms are more likely to employ local people and spend their earnings locally.

Finditinbirmingham aims to make all of the council's purchasing opportunities accessible to local businesses.  This is a serious commitment and we measure our performance on this.

The target is to have 95% of all the opportunities advertised on Finditinbirmingham.  We want to improve on this target and make sure that every opportunity is advertised on Finditinbirmingham.

And we are not stopping here: following the council's adoption of the Birmingham Business Charter for Social Responsibility, we are asking the councils' contractors to do the same, and making it a key part of their terms and conditions that they sign up to sourcing locally wherever possible.

We are also working with other large businesses and public sector bodies to advertise their opportunities on finditinbirmingham and encourage their main contractors to also buy locally.

We have also started monitoring how much we spend with local small businesses.  It will take some time for the statistics to become useful but the measurement has started.

Finditinbirmingham also runs a monthly breakfast event, aimed at bringing buyers and suppliers together.  Many businesses find that they do much better by meeting buyers face to face to make that important first impression, and these events are a great way to bring people together to do business.

To highlight the diversity of FIIB, our last breakfast event was centred on the development of Paradise Forum by Argent and our next event in August is a presentation by the Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust on the city's house building programme, and the opportunities that it presents to local firms.

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