Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) has taken a positive step in helping support local businesses better, following a review of its current Community Support Based Procurement Policy. The review has had a focus on improving support for local businesses and boosting the local economy.
“Earlier this year (2020), I tabled a Mayoral Minute to investigate our old policy, and find out how we can better support businesses. We’ve spoken to a number of local business operators to form this new policy, which is aimed at providing better support,” said Mayor of the Dubbo Region Ben Shields.
Some key provisions of the local purchasing policy include preferencing local suppliers when DRC is seeking quotes and tenders for goods and services. For anything less than $10,000 Council will, wherever possible, purchase from a local supplier. For purchases over $10,000, this policy provides price advantages for local suppliers. Due to the pressures of COVID-19, Council has increased the price advantage until the end of the year.
“Council is aware that COVID-19 is affecting local businesses, and therefore, we want to ensure businesses are given every opportunity to be competitive in this challenging period,” said Councillor Shields.
“We’ll also be incorporating a specific Indigenous sourcing panel, where we can approach local Indigenous suppliers for certain projects. The Indigenous sourcing panel will provide DRC with direct access to a specialised procurement sourcing panel of Indigenous businesses,” said Councillor Shields.
Indigenous business operators also provided feedback to Council about how to source more local Indigenous goods and services. The feedback DRC received highlighted that it’s important the policy supports not only local people, but that it shows a commitment to cultural matters and looks favourably at businesses that employ Aboriginal people.
“We’ll be looking at using an Indigenous Sourcing Panel, so we can specifically source local Indigenous services and quotes for projects,” said Councillor Shields.
Council will be required to purchase goods and services from local businesses for items that cost less than $10,000, and business owner Alexandria Treasure says this simple provision could have significant flow-on effects for her business, and the staff she employs.
“Knowing that Council is actively supporting and promoting small businesses that support the local economy is wonderful, as long as it is administered simply and fairly. It’s a win-win for everyone,” said Ms Treasure.
Local businesses are urged to sign up for VendorPanel, where they will be notified of any opportunities to be invited to tender for projects. This ensures they are considered when Council is looking for quotes for certain jobs.
The new Local Purchasing Policy officially comes into effect from Tuesday 1 September, 2020. Businesses with questions about the process can contact Council’s procurement team on (02) 6801 4000.