Government agencies need to first consider buying goods and services from a small, medium or regional business for all direct procurements up to $250,000 as part of the NSW Government’s plan to boost local businesses.
The NSW Government’s Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) and Regional Procurement Policy will provide a boost to regional economies in the wake of droughts, bushfires and now COVID-19.
The policy also provides a ‘Small Business Exemption’ to give local businesses an opportunity to cut through red tape and government processes. It allows government departments to buy directly from small businesses for any purchases up to $50,000 even if there is a mandated whole-of-government contract in place.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said now is the time for government departments to look locally when it comes to spending procurement dollars to assist SMEs and regional businesses in recovering from the economic impacts of COVID-19.
“What we are saying to NSW Government departments is instead of looking to Sydney, where possible give first consideration to the excellent local tradies, businesses and shops in a local regional community when it comes to procuring goods and services,” Mr Barilaro said.
“We want SMEs and regional businesses to be front-of-mind when departments are considering which supplier to engage.”
Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope encouraged NSW government agencies to consider engaging suppliers from regional areas.
“We want government departments to be aware of these opportunities and to think about the excellent SMEs and businesses in regional areas they could procure goods and services through,” Mr Tudehope said.
“Businesses can also access free independent business advice to build their capability to supply goods and services to government, through the NSW Government’s Business Connect program.” Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders said he was committed to ensuring the NSW Government promoted regional businesses.
“It’s vital that we continue to support regional businesses in whatever way we can. We have been spreading the ‘buy local’ message to our residents and, as a government, we need to do the same,” Mr Saunders said.
“The quality of services provided by companies based in the bush is just as good as anything you will get in the city, and as we work our way out of drought and the COVID19 pandemic we need to support regional NSW as much as possible.”
Dubbo business Crampton’s Carpets is one of hundreds of businesses that could benefit from the policy. Gerard Crampton said it was great to see local businesses undertake local work.
“Government contract work is a big part of our businesses and an important part of our business,” Mr Crampton said.
“We have a good, working relationship with the Government and for years, we’ve been doing a variety of work, including laying floor coverings throughout the Western Area in schools and hospitals. “I think people prefer to see local people on site. It’s all about that familiarity,” he said.