Heathrow has launched a series of commitments to guarantee SME involvement in future work at the airport as well as a competition for a business to win a £5,000 development grant.
The commitments are the latest output from the long-standing collaboration between Heathrow, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and Chambers of Commerce across the country, to increase the number of SMEs who benefit directly and indirectly from the economic opportunities provided by the UK’s only hub airport. It is hoped that this current initiative, #SMEptember, will further promote the value SMEs provide to supply chains and trade across the country.
Heathrow’s five SME guarantees are:
- Develop the successful Heathrow Business Summits across the UK. These bring together SMEs with Heathrow’s procurement team and the airport’s principal suppliers.
- As a signatory to the Prompt Payment Code, ensure suppliers are paid on time and ensure this practice flows down through the airports supply chain into SMEs.
- Establish a new Innovation Networking Forum to reach out to SMEs and start-up organisations in the innovation and technology sector.
- Offer SMEs access to the millions of international passengers at Heathrow, by brokering deals between stockists and World Duty Free and other retail tenants.
- Establish a grants programme offering awards up to £2k for SMEs to spend on travel and trade missions to help SMEs reach new markets.
#SMEptember comes as the airport prepares to celebrate 20 years of its Business Summit, which give SMEs throughout the UK the opportunity to get a foot in the door and capitalise on the business opportunities available through Heathrow’s supply chain. During that time Heathrow has spent billions on capital development projects across the airport including building brand new terminals 2 and 5, and Heathrow’s use of SMEs has risen, so that they now make up a third of the airport’s Tier 1 supply chain.
Heathrow and FSB will showcase the work of SMEs from across the UK via social media channels – including examples such as Gourmets Choice Ltd in Portsoy, Scotland, a 5th generation family owned and managed company producing smoked salmon for the past 108 years and LC Energy Ltd in Guildford, which develops renewable energy products.