New year, new opportunities for Sandwell businesses12th January 2022
One of the Sandwell Business Ambassadors’ priorities is to ensure that Sandwell businesses win more work locally. We want to share with you some ways to find new contracts – and ask what are the barriers you face in pitching for them?
When local businesses thrive, our region thrives
When Sandwell companies get more contracts on local projects, the boost to their business helps to create and sustain jobs in our borough, raising aspirations and improving livelihoods and the wellbeing of local people.
It helps the environment too, by reducing travel-to-work time and material mileage.
When Sandwell businesses thrive and grow, they put more money back into Sandwell’s local economy. The business rates they pay can be reinvested into public services and amenities.
For an example of great practice from a local authority and partners using their spending power to benefit local communities, read up on the Preston Model.
Removing the barriers
To explore the reasons why buyers in our region don’t always award work to local businesses, and find ways to remove the barriers, Sandwell Business Ambassadors have been working with Sandwell Council officers and cabinet members in focus groups.
In November we attended a Baggies Business Breakfast with Sandwell Council, hosted by the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, which allowed local companies to hear first hand from council procurement officers about what they look for in suppliers. Attendees could get help in signing up for In-tend – the online portal where Sandwell Council advertises its contract opportunities.
We will continue our work with Sandwell Council in 2022.
We also want to ensure Sandwell businesses are aware of the platforms they can use to find contracts in our region and beyond.
How to find contracts
The first, mentioned already, is In-tend. This is the electronic procurement portal used by Sandwell Council to advertise products and services it needs to buy, inviting and then assessing bids from registered suppliers. Sign up for In-tend for free. You will get alerts on the contracts coming up in your sector and find out what documentation you need to tender for them.
Another procurement platform is the Birmingham 2022 Business Portal, where you’ll find contracts generated by the Commonwealth Games, coming to Birmingham this summer. Current opportunities include construction work on bus depots to support transportation during the Games, a Carbon Neutral Verification Legacy Consultant, and the provision of laundry services.
The Birmingham 2022 Business Portal is hosted by Finditinbirmingham, which also promotes local opportunities to local businesses.
On a national level, the government’s Contracts Finder carries information about contracts worth over £10,000 with the UK government and its agencies. You can search for business opportunities in various sectors, view forthcoming contracts, and call up details of previous tenders and contracts. It is possible to search the system without registering but to get email alerts about relevant contracts it’s worth signing up for an account.
See also Find a Tender, for info on high-value UK government contracts (typically over £122,976).
Think Sandwell’s procurement opportunities page lists several other platforms for seeking contracts.
Talk to us!
Tell the Sandwell Business Ambassadors about the barriers your business faces when it comes to tendering. If you’ve pitched for work with Sandwell Council (or another significant buyer) and been unsuccessful, or you found the tendering process challenging, we would like to feed this back.
And of course if you have a big success, tell us too. We would love to celebrate your news – to boost your business and to encourage other Sandwell businesses to go forward and grow.