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Island businesses and interested parties found out how to go about doing business with Redland City Council at a special seminar on Russell Island.

The suppliers' information session 'Doing Business With Council' attracted a good roll up from islanders.

The initiative is a follow-on from a recent decision by Redland City Council to strengthen its 'buy local' procurement policy.

Mayor Karen Williams said at the time: “The existing procurement policy, which came into effect on 1 July 2013, gives primary status to suppliers with a Redland City business address.

“The changes strengthen this policy, giving a scaled benefit of up to 10% for local businesses and suppliers quoting on Redland City Council jobs.

"Council has substantial buying power and we want that to benefit local businesses. Council spends around $40 million locally each year and we are confident the ‘buy local’ procurement policy will continue to have a positive impact for local businesses," the mayor said.

The Russell Island information session was the first in a series of similar meetings that will be held throughout the Redlands.

The session was addressed by Redland City Council officers Bryan Abel and Ann Heady on the procedures and directions that are required.

The information session revealed that becoming a preferred supplier or approved contractor to council is not easy and contains a considerable amount of research, qualifications, honesty and procedure.

To reach this status, the preferred supplier or approved contractor must have had a tender 'accepted' by council.

It was suggested, however, that there will soon be put in place a slightly easier way for island businesses to receive more council business.

One was is to 'sub contract' on major island works to major mainland contractors who have successfully won a major island project.

Being 'located' on the islands would be a distinct advantage to local trades and services to a major contractor.

Also, council officer Bryan Abel revealed that a new Business Portal will soon be located on Redland City Council's website that will allow businesses who are not on the preferred list, to place their information, particularly in relation to new directions and innovations.

"This will be an additional way island businesses in particular can list their services," he told The Friendly Bay Islander.

Few island businesses are 'preferred suppliers' to council.

It is in the areas of some maintenance and lawn mowing where local contractors are used by council.

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