According to latest figures, Cornwall Council is now spending more than half of its budget buying goods and services from companies in Cornwall.
In 2012 the authority spent 44% of its £480 million procurement budget – some £209 million- with suppliers based in Cornwall. Last year this proportion rose to 50% – with £250.5 million of the £498m spent with local companies.
The increase in the amount of money spent with local businesses has been welcomed by Alex Folkes, the Council’s cabinet member for Finance and Resources, who said: “I’m very pleased that Cornwall Council is spending a greater proportion of its budget locally.
“Crossing the 50% barrier last year is a key milestone and shows the commitment of Cornwall Council to supporting local companies and local jobs.
“The amount of local spend will vary each month, but our aim is to increase the proportion spent locally over time. We are also now reporting the actual cash amount being spent with Cornish firms each month and publicising this figure on our website. In the first month of the new financial year, this was more £15 million (£15,893,794).”
The Council says it is keen to do even more business with local companies – especially small and medium sized businesses. In 2013 the authority spent £323 million (46.9% of its budget ) with 6,130 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
In April 2013 the authority launched the Cornwall Supplier Development Programme to help small and local businesses to be more competitive in winning contracts to supply goods, works and services to the public sector.
“We are working with local firms helping them to understand our requirements and become more competitive when tendering” added Folkes. “We are also breaking down the barriers for suppliers by simplifying forms and doing away with red tape.”