Mayor wants more support for local businesses

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams has asked Council to review its purchasing policy to strengthen support for local businesses.

Councillor Williams said she had asked for an immediate review of the policy, with an end of year deadline.

“We need to continually review our local purchasing policy and processes to ensure we give maximum support and opportunity to local suppliers, in the short and long terms,” she said.

“Council already has a local purchasing policy but it is in the best interests of local businesses, and the city, for us to look at doing even more business locally.

“It may be that we can award primary status to local contractors who have met certain requirements and to give them first preference to supply.

“We may need to consider running forums for local businesses, so they know what types of business we do, and how they may fit into the picture.

“Council spends more than $40 million each year in the Redlands and we want to support and encourage local businesses, rather than make it harder for them.

”Local businesses provide many of the goods and services used or delivered by Council and it makes good economic sense for Council to buy locally where appropriate.

“This will support local businesses, and local jobs.”

Cr Williams said Council had also shortened its own payment cycle in another benefit for businesses.

“We will now make payments to contractors and suppliers within 30 days of invoice,” she said.

“Under Council’s current policy some supplier payments can be up to 60 days after the invoice date.

“The change to Council’s payment terms was made this week, with the new terms to be included in all new contracts and panels.

“While Council anticipates a small but not significant impact on its interest earnings from funds available for investment, this initiative will help deliver other efficiencies and improvements through our account process and, most importantly, support the business community.”