East London SMEs in the running for millions of pounds worth of business

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London City Airport in the UK has held a Meet the Buyer event for 104 small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) at the ExCel exhibition center in London, to discuss future tender opportunities.

At the event, buyers hosted approximately 700 meetings with suppliers to discuss the work that the airport and larger local businesses will need to be completed in the upcoming months throughout their supply chains. In addition to the pitching and networking, suppliers attended a range of workshops with One Source, Newham College, the Living Wage Foundation and the University of East London covering issues such as paying a real living wage and learning new ways to recruit.

Supported by local companies such as Circle UK Group and Fusion Blu, the event saw buyers such as Glenman Corporation, HSS Hire Group, Jerram Falkus, Higgins Partnerships, One Source and the Berkeley Group provide an insight into what they are looking for from prospective suppliers.

Nicki Clark, chief executive of business advice service UMi, said, “This Meet the Buyer event has been a huge success, with lots of relationships formed between the 23 buyers and 104 suppliers that attended. It will pave the way for millions of pounds worth of new work for SMEs in the years to come. It has been a pleasure to work with London City Airport and partners to showcase these opportunities.”

Robert Sinclair, CEO of London City Airport, said, “We are proud to support the East London Meet the Buyer event, alongside fantastic partners including UMi, Newham Council and our host, ExCel. We know this event works, we know it creates value, and in 2018 and 2019 it was very successful and attracted over 300 businesses to both events that resulted in £3.5m [US$3.96m] in contract value wins for local businesses. Supporting the local economy is a priority of our 2030 sustainability roadmap and our ambition is to do even better this year and go even further in the years to come. This is a flagship event for the local economy, which is all the more important given the current challenges many people and businesses are facing.”

Derwent Jaconelli, managing director of Urgent Services and Rhona Manning, director at Help Save Lives both attended the event. Jaconelli said, “This was a unique and fantastic opportunity for SMEs like us to meet face to face with buyers from a range of sectors, but in an environment where the buyers are actually willing to discuss what you have to offer.” Manning added, “A fantastic event. So professional and well organized. Looking forward to the great business to come from the buyers that I met.”

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