This includes £2.7million which went to Wealden’s own small businesses, the council says.
“Small companies are the backbone of the economy both in Wealden and East Sussex,” said Councillor Bob Standley, leader of Wealden District Council.
He added: “It is good to see that they are winning an important share of the council’s business. In many cases, their competitive edge is helping to put money back into the communities we serve.”
Wealden District Council spent £20.8 million on goods and services during the 2014/15 financial year, and thanks to shared procurement initiatives, has been able to make saving of just over £500,000 in the process.
The council’s annual procurement report, published at the July cabinet meeting, showed that £8.5 million, 40.9% of its annual spend on goods and services, was with Small and Medium Enterprises, with £4.3 million going to small companies. It also showed that:
- 24%, – £5 million – of the Council’s spending was with companies based in Wealden. And just over half of this – £2.7 million – was with small Wealden businesses.
- 44%, – £9.2 million – of the Council’s expenditure was with businesses based in East Sussex (including Wealden businesses).
As well as being a major customer to many local businesses, the council is involved with initiatives to help the local economy including the recently launched Wealden and Eastbourne Small Business Loan Scheme which has set aside £100,000 to lend to small businesses looking to expand.
The local economy has also been helped by a series of planning consents over the past year to develop employment sites. These include the Ashdown Business Park at Maresfield.
Wealden District Council hosts the East Sussex Procurement Hub, which uses the combined buying power of Wealden, Hastings, Rother, Eastbourne and Lewes councils to achieve savings. Since its launch in 2010, the hub has achieved savings and revenue in the region of £11 million for these authorities.