18 December 2023

Minister brings supported business and public sectors together

One hundred delegates come together for Scotland Excel's supported business event

The Minister for Community Wealth and Public Finance joined delegates from across the public and private sectors recently, in a bid to strengthen relationships and grow opportunities for supported businesses.

In a keynote address, Tom Arthur MSP, spoke about the importance of forging links between public sector buyers and Scotland’s supported businesses, to make sure this vital sector can go from strength to strength.

The Glasgow-based event was hosted by Scotland Excel and was attended by more than 100 delegates from supported businesses, and the public and private sectors. 

Speakers included Jim Johnstone from Scottish construction business, Morrison Construction, who spoke about commitment to involving supported businesses in their supply chain. 

Stephen Brannagan, Director of Customer and Business Services at Scotland Excel welcomed guests on the day. He said: “Supported Businesses are a vital part of Scotland’s third sector because they create employment and training opportunities for people who are at a disadvantage in the jobs market.

“Scotland Excel has had first-hand experience of establishing a successful partnership with a supported business – and we’re keen to share this experience with our partners. For example, Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company in Erskine, a supported business on our signage framework, has received close to £780k of business through the framework.

“This underscores the immense impact and transformative power that public procurement can have on these businesses.  We have a duty to return social benefits when we spend public money.”

Speaking about the event, Tom Arthur MSP, Minister for Community Wealth and Public Finance said: “The Scottish Government is committed to bringing more Supported Businesses into the public procurement arena.

“Our policy is to ensure every public body continues to realise the potential of supported businesses to access public contracts, through the use of reserved contracts and other mechanisms.

“I was extremely pleased to be asked to speak at Scotland Excel’s event and I look forward to hearing about the positive outcomes and business opportunities that the event will inspire.”

Alistair Kerr, Director and Chair of BASE Scotland said: “Scotland Excel's timely and informative event continues to shine a bright spotlight on Scotland's supported businesses. If we continue to harness all the levers – political intent, procurement duties and policy intents – we will contribute to ensuring disabled people are not left behind.

“We need much more of this proactive approach across Scotland. Disabled people in our local communities expect and deserve nothing less.”