Cllr Irene Winters says that new procurement guidelines will give local businesses the opportunity to match-make with each other to allow them to tender for large government public sector service and supply contracts. Up to now many small and medium sized businesses were not large enough in their own right to realistically tender for these contracts. The new division of these contracts into smaller lots, along with the guidelines to promote the formation of consortia amongst SME’s, offers an opportunity to smaller businesses to have a real chance of securing this business.
Cllr Winters said this week,“The tendering of Public Sector Contracts is a huge business with over €9 billion of the annual government budget being spent on supplies and services this year. The Government will continue to promote the optimum use of the eTenders portal as a system for facilitating the involvement of SME’s in public Sector procurement. The use of electronic tendering aligns to the Governments e-commerce strategy.”
The Fine Gael Cllr sees these changes as a positive step to keeping domestic businesses viable and securing and stabilising local employment. Cllr Winters said that the newly formed local enterprise office and the local Chamber of Commerce could each play a vital role in helping match relevant businesses together to provide a consortium with the relevant financial capacity, insurance etc. to meet the procurement guidelines.
Cllr Winters said,“Our small businesses are the lifeblood of our local economy and I welcome any opportunity that allows them to compete for all business on a level playing field. I would expect that the Local Enterprise Office would make available the necessary training and support to allow the SME’s avail of this opportunity. If I can be of any assistance to any of our entrepreneurs to bring much needed jobs to our area I am more than willing to help.”