Cheshire East Council has scooped a prestigious award for its innovative work to help boost local businesses.
The Federation of Small Businesses presented Council Leader Councillor Michael Jones with a Business Buddy Award in recognition of the authority’s series of free workshops to help business people learn how to win public sector contracts.
The Council-organised procurement training events are targeted at local businesses, charities and social enterprises.
The aim is to show them how to ‘get started’ in the bid process, how to produce a tender and how to collaborate with other organisations – to increase scale and expertise – to form ‘consortia’ to tender for local and central government work.
The events have been hailed a great success – and more of the popular free workshops are due to be held next month.
Councillor Jones said: “I am delighted that our team has won deserved recognition for its work supporting our local businesses.
“Tendering for a public sector contract can be a daunting prospect and these free workshops provide excellent guidance to help businesses develop a bid.
“We want traders and charities to know that we are always interested in receiving tenders from local businesses and organisations.
“These workshops can significantly help to simplify and demystify the process. We want to encourage even more local businesses to get involved in working with not only Cheshire East Council but also other public sector bodies. It is vitally important, as more than £300bn of services are procured by the public sector each year.
“We put a lot of emphasis on supporting local firms and businesses and ensuring as many services as possible are provided locally – while ensuring quality services and value for money for the people of Cheshire East.”
The latest round of procurement workshops, held in Congleton, which aim to cover the whole process from start to finish, are:
● Let’s Get Started – on Tuesday, September 22;
● The Invitation To Tender Process – on Tuesday, September 29.
The first workshop is an introduction to the tendering process, which will show how the framework for public sector tendering operates, how to navigate it and how to prepare for tendering opportunities.
The second workshop will explain the best-practice procedures and structures that you should put in place in your organisation to make sure your bids are as professional as possible – and also how working in consortia can provide further opportunities.
The free workshops are conducted by award-winning Melanie Bryan, from WhyNotChange – an organisation which helps businesses tender for public sector contracts. Melanie won the best social enterprise partnership award in the Prime Minister’s Big Society Awards 2011.
Both workshops will take place at Riverside, Mountbatten Way, Congleton, CW12 1DY.
Each event starts with refreshments and bacon rolls at 7.45am for a prompt 8am start. The sessions finish at 11am.
Places are strictly limited and businesses are advised to attend both events in order to get the most benefit and understand the whole process.
To book a place on the latest workshops, contact Cheshire East Council on 0300 123 5001 or email Danielle.Stanway@cheshireeast.gov.uk