NORTH Yorkshire has joined forces with other authorities in the region to support and guide local small businesses in securing work in the public sector.

The County Council, alongside City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council and Barnsley Council, is working with local organisation Go4Growth to develop the business marketplace and support for the voluntary sector.

The authorities are committed to helping smaller organisations to enter or grow their market share in the public sector. They recognise the need to provide more support and guidance for these organisations that can find securing work in the public sector disproportionately harder than their larger competitors.

“Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and voluntary, community and social enterprises (VCSEs) are the lifeblood of our local economy,” said county council leader Cllr Carl Les. “As we recover from the pandemic and rise to the challenge of Brexit, we believe there has never been a more important time to support local businesses. Our local supply chains are essential for our local communities and high streets.

“Local suppliers create jobs and prosperity in North Yorkshire. Our support at such a difficult time goes some way towards helping them to bounce back and to play their part in the growth of the county’s economy, post-pandemic.”

North Yorkshire County Council spent £215m with local businesses last year, highlighting its contribution to the county’s economy during the coronavirus pandemic. It supports nearly 2,100 companies based in North Yorkshire and the City of York through its procurement activities and has increased its spend with local SMEs each year since 2015.

The four authorities are funding the Go4Growth programme, so businesses can join and take the support, guidance, tools and resources on offer with no cost to them. Join the programme at

Andrew Digwood, president of the York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and a partner at law firm Rollitts, said: “Y&NY Chamber welcomes the commitment to supporting businesses in the region – particularly the SME sector – that is being demonstrated by NYCC through its procurement programme.”

NYCC launched the Buy Local initiative at the start of the pandemic to encourage residents and businesses to support local suppliers during the Covid-19 restrictions.

It also launched an instant payments scheme for SMEs to help with their cash flow during the downturn.