Small Business Friendly Concordat

sunflower in front of building
The council has declared its support for the Small Business Friendly Concordat by becoming a signatory authority and pledging to actively engage with small businesses.  The concordat is a voluntary, non-statutory code of practice which aims to encourage a mixed range of suppliers in order to help develop and stimulate a varied and competitive marketplace. We have proudly supported the FSB's Small Business Engagement Accord since September 2009.

Small businesses can offer real benefits to local authorities including:

  • quick and flexible response to authority needs
  • as a source of innovation, ideas and products
  • often they are in close proximity to the authority
  • able to offer cash savings, improved quality, service and effectiveness
  • some, like social enterprises and those operating in the voluntary and community sector, may have better access to hard to reach customer groups.
  • they may attach more importance to doing business with a local authority

Small businesses are often locally based and any assistance given to them can also bring benefits to the local community. The same holds true for many social enterprises, voluntary and community organisations and Black and Ethnic Minority Enterprises.

However it is not intended that smaller suppliers should be given a competitive advantage when tendering for local government contracts due to the concordat, and there are steps we can take to ensure that suppliers of all kinds are treated equally. Under the Local Government Act 2000, councils are required to prepare a 'Community Strategy' and have powers to promote the economic, social and environmental well-being of their communities.

Provided there is compliance with the authority's contract standing orders, financial regulations and EU Public Procurement Regulations, councils can work with suppliers to realise 'community benefits' of this kind through their procurement activities.