SMALL firms have been told by some of the largest buyers in Lancashire to make sure they bid for big business contracts.
The message was clear from firms including Westinghouse at Salwick, Lancaster University, Wyre Council, F Parkinson from Mowbray Drive, Submarine Manufacturing and Products from Newton, and hotel chains including Hilton, Marriott and Holiday Inn.
They were among the exhibitors who attended the Rise 2011 Lancashire Business Week event Get Lancashire Buying at the Hilton Hotel, North Promenade, yesterday.
Westinghouse senior buyers Matthew Armstrong and Charlotte Dennison attended to drum up local trade at their Salwick site.
Mr Armstrong said: “We obviously have the specialised needs of the nuclear industry, but we are still a regular company and need the likes of stationery and cleaners. There are the day-to-day runnings of an office that we need to look after.”
Miss Dennison added: “We still use local suppliers wherever possible and we’re happy to talk to them.”
And Mike Tyler of building contractor F Parkinson said: “We’re here to try to rekindle some old relationships and develop some new ones.
“This event is letting people know that we’re still here and we’re doing well.
“It fits with our localism bill and lets us put our money where our mouths are by using local suppliers.”
The North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce event was fully booked, with a reserve list in operation for eager business owners keen to make contacts across the county.
Noel Palmer from Lytham, owner of Palmer Publicity Services, said: “I do some work for the Chamber and always like to support these events.
“I’ve met three or four potential buyers so far – the event is a great opportunity for us to sell and get our name about.”
The event even included a display from Newton firm Submarine Manufacturing and Products. Sales executive Chris Keith said: “We’ve recently won contracts with BP and have won a lot of big contracts for the area.” The business week will conclude with the annual Be Inspired Business Awards tomorrow