More help to make it easier for small businesses to bid on public contracts and how there’s help for small businesses to grow was part of the conversations and discussions of the latest Ealing and Acton Business Club breakfast meeting that took place at Doubletree by Hilton London Hotel in Ealing Common today (8 December 2022).
More than 60 people attended the early morning meeting that saw guest speaker Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe speak about her life which included being a director of retail giant Tesco as well as her current role in Government where she is Minister of State.
Lady Neville-Rolfe provided an insight into how the Government is changing the way procurement is done in the public sector so that small businesses can get the opportunities to bid and win contracts and get a piece of “the pie”.
Lady Neville-Rolfe revealed that for many small businesses it has historically been difficult for them to apply with constants being imposed on them and barrier to entry being very high. In her role, she is “trying to improve efficiencies on both sides”. For many small businesses that means easier ways to find out about public contracts as well then bidding for them while meeting the standards expected of them.
Chairman of Ealing and Acton Business Club, Councillor Julian Gallant, introduced Lady Neville-Rolfe and also took questions from the businesses that were attending the breakfast meeting.
Difficulty of applying for public tenders and the issue of business rates were among audience questions.
Lady Neville-Rolfe said she wants to hear from businesses “about how we can make things better” and said that the Government is committed to making change so that small businesses are not excluded from procurement and can compete to win public contracts. She also spoke about the issue of business rates impacting businesses and help from the Government.
Following Lady Neville-Ross, Gerry Barwick, CEO of Make It Ealing and Desh Gunatilake, business support officer of Make It Ealing provided an overview of the work they are doing with businesses in Ealing Broadway and how they are promoting the area. From sign posting visitors to where to go to shop and eat, through to providing cleaning services and extra security help to shops. They also revealed how through social media they have been promoting the area to encourage more visitors to come and raise the profile.
Both before and after the breakfast meeting, attendees mingled and networked sharing their contact details and connecting.
One attendee told EALING.NEWS: “I hadn’t been before so didn’t know what to expect but it was great to see so many people from so many different and diverse businesses attend. Really was worth getting up early for and to discover so many people to network with.”