Plymouth City Council has launched a one-stop online shop to encourage local businesses to find local suppliers and to help keep the pounds in Plymouth.
The directory is a free online platform that aims to bring local business buyers and suppliers together to increase the chance of spending in the city so that Plymouth, its businesses and its residents benefit.
Council leader Tudor Evans OBE said: “As a council, we have massively stepped up our efforts to buy local and want to make it as easy as possible for other big organisations and businesses and smaller ventures to tap into the expertise, talent and skills right here in Plymouth.
“Keeping the pounds in Plymouth and maximising the benefits of our spending for the city’s economy, community and environment has never been so important.
“We do not yet know the full impact the pandemic will have on our economy but we are doing all we can to make sure Plymouth can bounce back better when the time is right.”
The aim of the directory is to have all the suppliers and companies in one place. It is like an online ‘yellow pages’ to serve the Plymouth area. It is open to any business that offers goods, services or works to other businesses, from massive health providers to horticulturalists, stationery supplies to demolition experts.
Cllr Evans added: “This is information is out there – but it is not always easy to find. We want to bring it all under one umbrella. The launch is just the start. We want to encourage more suppliers and companies to check it out and get involved. You have nothing to lose and a lot to gain.”
It’s been a city-wide team effort to get the directory from an idea to reality. The Council has worked closely with the Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Small Business, Plymouth Social Enterprise Network, Building Plymouth and the University of Plymouth.
The directory is a key part of Resurgam, Plymouth’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan and will help businesses to ‘Spend 4 Plymouth’.
The directory aims to be:
- A sourcing tool for buyers to identify suppliers to invite to procurement activity
- An advertisement tool for suppliers to advertise their capabilities and capacity to buyers
- An opportunity for suppliers to make connections to support each other and form potential partnerships
- An opportunity for directory partners to explain how they do business such as links to procurement platforms and advertised opportunities
- A market intelligence tool to identify gaps in the local market for subsequent stimulation
Stuart Elford, Chief Executive of the Devon & Plymouth Chamber, said: “The Chamber welcomes and fully supports the Plymouth Supplier Directory, which will go a long way to helping businesses and the local economy by keeping spend in our area.
“Encouraging local procurement is a key strategic priority for the Chamber and we are delighted to work alongside the City Council in this innovative initiative, especially at this difficult time for so many businesses.”
Chair of Building Plymouth’s Procurement Group, Mike Borkowski, of Midas Group, said: “We have been seriously impressed by the level of engagement with industry and community groups from Plymouth City Council.
“Together, we’ve got the city pulling together to focus on local spend, crucially not just what the council spend on services, but also making sure other spend and businesses in the city understand how valuable it is to support the local economy.
“There is a wealth of construction expertise based in Plymouth and one of the quickest wins is to make sure that we encourage local businesses and social enterprises to list their details in the new online directory – making sure they are readily available to other businesses and all of the public sector clients looking for local suppliers.
“Every pound spent locally has such a significant impact in local investment, training and employment opportunities for local people, and money re-circulating in local communities.”
Gareth Hart, Director of Plymouth Social Enterprise Network, added: “This directory is super important and I urge businesses to get using it.
“We want more people, public authorities and businesses, big and small, to buy from Plymouth’s social enterprises, co-ops and community businesses which will be listed in the directory.
“This will create good local jobs and help the city’s economy recover from COVID in a greener, fairer and healthier way.”