Firms need to look to their social side

Tony Raynor and Jane Houghton-Fenning
Tony Raynor and Jane Houghton-Fenning
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Businesses on the Fylde coast are missing the benefits of the 2012 Social Value Act, which could win them new contracts and grow the local economy, according to a local support organisation.

Community & Business Partners, a non-profit making organisation which supports businesses across Lancashire, wants more companies to demonstrate how the procurement of their services would improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of their local area.

The Social Value Act, introduced last year, ensures that local authorities must consider the wider value of their procurement decisions before entering into a contract for the provision of services or for equipment.

Companies with a strong track record for supporting the local economy can put themselves in a stronger position to win these contracts.

Jane Houghton-Fenning, business development director at Community & Business Partners, said: “Few people realise the value of the social economy and how corporate social responsibility really can influence the success of local business. Small and medium- sized enterprises can steal a march on bigger competitors by giving their time and expertise for the benefit of their borough and the region.

“They can come and talk to us about how the Social Value Act can help them when applying for new business, and also explore options for contributing positively to the local community where they trade.”

Telephone systems installer Abbey Telecom is backing the new legislation.

Fylde-based managing director Tony Raynor explained: “In the 20 years we’ve been in business, we’ve naturally developed an ethos for supporting the local economy.

“This year we’ve looked to go a bit further by getting more involved in college careers days and recruitment fairs for apprentices. We’ve adopted Derian House Children’s Hospice (jn Chorley) for fund-raising activity.

“While it’s true to say we’re busy enough with the day job, this additional activity has been fun for the staff too – it knits the team together and develops skills beyond the engineering and installation of telephone systems.”

For more call Community & Business Partners on (01254) 50 50 50 or visit www.cbpartners.org.

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