At the same time as economists are tentatively predicting the economy has turned a corner, and that we are slowly climbing out of the recession, it is heartening to read a Federation of Small Businesses study, which shows that Scottish Borders Council is going the extra mile to help local businesses where it can.
The study shows that SBC is one of the best councils in the country at ensuring almost a third of the cash it spent on procurement in 2012/13 remained in the local economy.
That means that for every £1 the council spent, an estimated 43.4p –adding up to a grand total of more than £45million – remained in the Borders.
Great news for local businesses, many of whom have no doubt struggled over the last few years to keep their heads above water.
The fact that the council was willing to put it’s money where it’s mouth is, buying local, means that many firms benefitted from its tendering process.
SBC has worked hard to ensure local businesses have a fair chance of winning council contracts, splitting contracts into smaller chunks and running events to help potential suppliers understand what is required during the tendering process.
So hats off to SBC. And we look forward to reading that that figure has improved next year.