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Meet the Buyer 2022 virtual event announced by the Supplier Development Programme

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With stability, predictability, sustainability, quick wins and long term contracts, the public sector could offer an ideal customer profile.

The Supplier Development Programme will hold the 13th annual Meet the Buyer event online on Wednesday, 15 June 2022 with headline partners, Scottish Government and Scotland Excel.

Meet the Buyer 2022 will see online exhibitors come together for one-to-one meetings with businesses, representing the public sector, private contractors and business support providers.

Businesses will be able to meet procurement teams from local councils, alongside other public and private sector buying organisations.

From the comfort of their own screen, businesses will have the chance to introduce their companies, talk to the key contacts and find out about what tenders and projects buyers have in the pipeline for micro, small, medium and supported businesses for the supply of materials, goods, and services to Scotland and the UK’s public sector.

There will also be a packed agenda for businesses to watch presentations and ask their questions live, and have them answered.

Ivan McKee MSP, Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism & Enterprise is confirmed to deliver an opening address, subject to Parliamentary business.

The virtual agenda is packed with speakers on emerging business opportunities and topics such as the Aberdeen Hydrogen Hub, diversifying NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and NHS Lanarkshire supply chain, Net Zero, Growth Deals, links to Community Wealth Building, sustainable procurement, Fair Work First, how to bring innovation to the public sector, Brexit, and COVID-19 economic recovery plans.

Scotland Excel is also seeking businesses to bid for an upcoming national framework opportunity for Repair, Maintenance and Refurbishment services.

Micro, small and medium sized businesses, from blacksmiths to bathrooms, electricians to fencing, joiners to flooring, kitchens to painters and plumbers, roofing to heating, ventilation, windows and doors, and other trades too, are invited to ask their questions on how they can potentially get business from this framework wherever they are located in Scotland.

The Heads of Procurement for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and NHS Lanarkshire will also present on plans to diversify their local supply chains in partnership with the Supplier Development Programme.

If a business has never considered bidding for goods and services required by the health sector, Meet the Buyer offers the perfect opportunity to engage with the two health boards, which make up 40% of Scotland’s total public sector spend in health.

This is the second year in a row that this event will be held as a virtual event - and 91% of Scottish SMEs and supported businesses were more likely to bid for public sector contracts after attending last year’s.

Non-SME suppliers are also eligible to attend and must register an account with SDP to book a place.

The Supplier Development Programme (SDP) is a business support initiative that uses training and information to help micro, small and medium sized businesses support in all aspects of tendering.

SDP is a partnership of Local Authorities, Scottish Government and other public bodies working together to help businesses become ready to tender for contracts.

With public procurement processes that require a more formal tendering approach than some private sector opportunities, SDP improves the prospects of SMEs when competing throughout Scotland where there is an annual public spend of £13.3billion.

SDP delivers this support through training and events.

Once your business is registered, you can access this support and all events like Meet the Buyer for free.

Gillian Cameron, Programme Manager, Supplier Development Programme, said:

“Meet the Buyer is a free virtual event that provides small businesses with unprecedented access to buyers and decision makers from across the public and private sectors, with the opportunity to raise your profile as a business and prepare for upcoming contract opportunities.

“No business is too small to attend Meet the Buyer. The public sector procures goods, works and services from businesses and sole traders right across Scotland, so this event offers a chance for businesses of all sizes to give an elevator pitch to lots of potential new customers, all in one place.”

Whether just starting out with public contracts or as experienced bidders, the UK and international marketplace, particularly the EU, offers small businesses extensive opportunities.

Businesses should register in advance to attend Meet the Buyer 2022 by visiting www.sdpscotland.co.uk.

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