STAR Procurement have held their first ever digital Meet the Buyer event, connecting local businesses with Greater Manchester public sector organisations.
This year’s event focussed on helping support businesses through lockdown, and took place online for the first time due to Covid-19 restrictions.
In a change to the usual format, Meet the Buyer took place over a week instead of one day, to give more options and flexibility to our local suppliers and small businesses. There were over 25 sessions across the week and nearly 600 bookings made, and included top tips for tendering, Social Value, ethical procurement, and industry specific updates.
STAR has been working with local councils more than ever this year to ensure their approach to procurement continues to support local businesses and communities, in particular the SME and VCSE sectors. STAR has also published a ’10-point plan’ to provide further assistance throughout continued restrictions.
This year’s digital Meet the Buyer event has received positive feedback from attendees. A representative from Stockport-based Knights Corporate Workwear commented:
On behalf of my team we wanted to thank all of you who had input for this, we found it very educational and felt like we learnt a lot so big thanks from us here!”
Director of STAR, Lorraine Cox said:
I am delighted that so many local businesses joined us for our first virtual Meet the Buyer event. It has always been a priority for us to engage with and support our local businesses and VCSE/SME’s but the impact of COVID makes this more important than ever before. Public procurement has such potential to support our businesses now and to help us to ‘build back better’. This is just one of the methods we are using, but our ‘10 point plan’ shows the breadth of support we are putting in place, including targeted Social Value, flexible procurement approaches and stronger forward planning so the business communities can mobilise.”
STAR is a public sector shared procurement service, established in 2014. The organisation has moved from a three to a six partner organisation and works collaboratively with Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Rochdale councils, and Clinical Commissioning Groups, supports Greater Manchester Combined Authority and leads a large percentage of collaborative procurement across Greater Manchester Councils.