Today Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, welcomed the news that SNP councils elected in the forthcoming election will pledge to increase spending with local small and medium sized firms.
This move follows the report by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) indicating that the average council spends less than a fifth of their procurement budget with local small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
Statistics collated by the Improvement Service and highlighted by the FSB found that the average council procurement spend on smaller firms in their area in 2015/16 was only 19.7 per cent.
The SNP is now committing its council groups, if elected to administration, to increase this share, revising current procurement strategies to ensure greater access for local SMEs and help local firms thrive.
Mr Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, commented:
‘I warmly welcome this news. I have lobbied for a number of years to improve local procurement and this step is exactly what’s needed.
‘The FSB report is disappointing but unsurprising. It’s been clear to me for some time that councils could do better in how they promote and engage with local businesses.
‘The knock-on effects of procuring locally are clear to see – businesses grow and thrive and provide better employment opportunities and increased revenue.
‘This is yet another reason why a vote for the SNP at the upcoming council elections stands to benefit everyone in the constituency.’