Forum to help locals tap into $250 million

MEETING: Representatives from the City of Greater Bendigo, VicRoads, Bendigo Health and Coliban Water want to share opportunities with local businesses. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

MEETING: Representatives from the City of Greater Bendigo, VicRoads, Bendigo Health and Coliban Water want to share opportunities with local businesses. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

WITH more than $250 million spent per annum in the Bendigo region between them, four local organisations want to help Bendigo businesses tap into local opportunities.

Bendigo Health, City of Greater Bendigo, Coliban Water and VicRoads will host a forum next week explaining the best way for businesses to make the most of tender processes.

An expansion on the Leveraging the Benefits of the new Bendigo Hospital project, the forum will be followed by workshops helping business leaders to build skills in contract management and pricing.

New Bendigo Hospital project manager Leah Sertori said the forum will attempt to keep important skills in the region and to involve local business in the supply chain.

"We're bringing Bendigo's largest public sector organisations together to provide a presentation on their procurement program for the next 12 months," she said.

"One of the challenges for local businesses to become a supplier to the 'big four' is the very formal way in which these organisations do business.

"So, for the very first time, we're bringing together the four leaders who work in this area every day, assessing tender responses from businesses, to share their experience and advice."

Governed by the state, the procurement process is cemented in legislation and provides a framework for public sector organisations to assess tender responses and award contracts.

Ms Sertori said this process was often a major hurdle for small business.

"While it's an important system, it can be arduous for small business owners to satisfy the requirements to 'pre-qualify' or be appointed to a panel of suppliers to provide services to a public sector organisation," she said.

"Often there is no one to assist that business owner and they do their best to address the tender document with mixed success."

The forum, 'Tapping Into the Big Four in Bendigo', will be from 4pm to 6pm on Wednesday July 30, at the All Seasons Hotel Bendigo.

For more information and to register, contact the City of Greater Bendigo on 5434 6137.

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