The City of London Corporation has launched six new projects aimed at helping small and medium sized businesses in the neighbouring boroughs of Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Camden, Islington, Lambeth, Southwark and Westminster.
The initiatives are a response to recommendations of research published in September 2008 on ‘The City of London’s Supply Chain and its relationship with the City fringes,’ jointly commissioned by the City of London Corporation and the City Fringe Partnership.
The research found that SMEs in the boroughs (the City Fringe) could improve their share of City expenditure from the current level of 4% to as much as 13% of the City supply chain. City officials say they would stimulate the local economy and create jobs for residents in the boroughs.
Stuart Fraser, Chairman of Policy and Resources at the City of London Corporation, says, “Small and medium-sized businesses tend to rely on one or two main clients. We’re working to help SMEs in the City fringes review their business pipelines and allow them to better access business on their doorsteps.”
The projects form a 15 month-long programme of activity including: programmes focusing on quality and management assistance; one-to-one sessions with business counsellors; seminars improving SMEs knowledge of the tendering process and workshops covering quality assurance, environmental, and health & safety policies.
The programme will culminate in a large scale ‘Meet The Buyers’ event scheduled to take place in March 2010 in which 125 tender-ready SMEs in the City fringes will meet over 30 City businesses and their outsourcing firms.
John Wright, Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, says the organisation “are delighted that the City of London Corporation is working to support local small businesses.”