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24th Feb 2012

Local firms acquire new skills to tap into the trending market

Potential new markets have opened up for Belfast businesses thanks to a tendering support programme run by Belfast City Council.
Ten local firms recently attended the Smarter Procurement Programme to help them identify and take advantage of sales opportunities within both sectors.
Participants took part in a range of tailored workshops focusing on their presentation skills, negotiation and direct selling skills to tender for a contract. They were also given 15 hours of individual business mentoring.
A special awards ceremony took place at the City Hall today for the participants who completed the programme. They were presented with certificates by Councillor Conor Maskey from Belfast City Council.
“The Council is committed to supporting local business and last year we worked with businesses, across a wide range of sectors, to enhance their growth and competitiveness,” Alderman Christopher Stalford, Chairman of Belfast City Council’s Development Committee, said.

“Through the Smarter Procurement Programme, our aim was to support local businesses with no experience in tendering and procurement and help them to develop the skills and knowledge which will allow them to enter into this market.”
Speaking at the awards ceremony were representatives from a number of local businesses from across the city who had completed the programme.
Participant Alan Purdy from LA Distribution in east Belfast said: “The programme gave us the confidence as a small company to bid for tenders, structure our business accordingly and make sure we had the right time set aside to tender for a contract.”
Another programme participant, John Davison from Asitis Consulting in Belfast, added: “The sheer value of Northern Ireland’s publicly procured contracts means that it is a market no size of business can ignore. The council’s Smarter Procurement Programme has helped our business develop the knowledge skills and strategy to tap into this market.”
To find out more about Belfast City Council`s support for local business, go to
A number of businesses received certificates at an awards ceremony in Belfast City Hall after completing Belfast City Council’s Smarter Procurement Programme


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