Merton Council shortlisted for ‘small business friendly’ award

Merton Council is hoping for a hat trick of awards in a scheme that recognises local councils’ support for small businesses.

The Council has been shortlisted for ‘Best small business friendly procurement to support local trade’.

Success would mean that the Council scoops an award for the third time on the trot.

Judges in this year’s contest have been impressed by a new system the Council introduced to make it much easier for local companies to bid for contracts with them.

The contracts, to provide taxi services for children with special educational needs and vulnerable adults, used to be tendered for in a way that favoured larger companies.

The Council brought in a new online purchasing system that enables any suitably qualified taxi company to compete at any time. It also means that the businesses will be paid more quickly.

Simon Japal, Director of Capital Cars, praised the Council for bringing in the new system. “Merton Council have been very supportive of local taxi companies and are an example for others to follow,” he said.

Councillor Stephen Alambritis, Leader of the Council, said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the local economy and we are determined to make it as easy as possible for them to work with the Council.

“This new system has brought many benefits, both for small businesses and for the Council.”

Winners of the awards, which are organised by the Federation of Small Businesses and London Councils, will be announced Thursday, 30 March.

The council has previously won awards for ‘Best Programme of Support for Small Businesses’ and for ‘Best All Round Small Business Friendly Borough’.