Let’s support local businesses

Sinn F�in councillor Bridget Meehan.
Sinn F�in councillor Bridget Meehan.

More local businesses must benefit from large public procurement contracts, a local councillor has said.

Sinn Féin councillor Bridget Meehan made the call ahead of a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event aimed at local businesses which will be held in the Everglades Hotel, Prehen, on February 27.

“Public procurement is big business. It’s worth up to £3 billion annually to the economy in the north of Ireland, and an estimated £16 billion across the island of Ireland. However, businesses in the north west secure a mere 7% of the public contracts awarded in the north. For a city of Derry’s size, this percentage is much too low,” she said.

Colr. Meehan said local businesses need training to compete for lucrative contracts. “Sinn Féin want to see more local businesses securing larger numbers of these contracts by creating an equality of opportunity for local businesses when it comes to bidding for tenders. It’s for that very reason that we lobbied for the establishment of a dedicated team in Council to focus on building the capacity of local businesses to compete in the procurement market.

‘Meet the Buyer’ events are just one example of the capacity building activities that Council provide through the Business Opportunities Programme,” the Waterside councillor said.