The Minister for Community Wealth and Public Finance joined delegates from across the supported business and public sectors recently, in a bid to strengthen relationships and grow opportunities.

In a keynote address, Tom Arthur MSP, spoke about the importance of forging links between public sector buyers and Scotland’s supported businesses, to make sure this vital sector can go from strength to strength.

The event was hosted by Paisley-based Scotland Excel, the Centre of Procurement Expertise for local government, and was attended by more than 100 delegates from supported businesses, councils and the wider public sector.

Speakers were drawn from the public and private sectors, including Jim Johnstone from Morrison Construction who spoke about commitment to involving supported businesses in their supply chain.

Stephen Brannagan, Director of Customer and Business Services at Scotland Excel welcomed guests on the day. He said: “Supported Businesses are a vital part of Scotland’s third sector because they create employment and training opportunities for people who are at a disadvantage in the jobs market.

“Scotland Excel has had first-hand experience of establishing a successful partnership with a supported business – and we’re keen to share this experience with our partners. For example, Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company in Erskine, a supported business on our signage framework, has received close to £780k of business through the framework.

“This underscores the immense impact and transformative power that public procurement can have on these businesses. We have a duty to return social benefits when we spend public money.”

Speaking about the event, Tom Arthur MSP, Minister for Community Wealth and Public Finance said: “The Scottish Government is committed to bringing more Supported Businesses into the public procurement arena.

“Our policy is to ensure every public body continues to realise the potential of supported businesses to access public contracts, through the use of reserved contracts and other mechanisms.

“I was extremely pleased to be asked to speak at Scotland Excel’s event and I look forward to hearing about the positive outcomes and business opportunities that the event will inspire.”

Alistair Kerr, Director and Chair of BASE Scotland said: “Scotland Excel’s timely and informative event continues to shine a bright spotlight on Scotland’s supported businesses. If we continue to harness all the levers – political intent, procurement duties and policy intents – we will contribute to ensuring disabled people are not left behind.

“We need much more of this proactive approach across Scotland. Disabled people in our local communities expect and deserve nothing less.”

Headline photo: (left to right) Tom Arthur MSP, Stephen Brannagan – Scotland Excel Director of Customer and Business Services, Alistair Kerr Director and Chair of BASE Scotland and Scott McCrindle Collaborative Delivery Manager for the Scottish Governemnt
Photo Credit: Excel Scotland

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News

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