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Heathrow reaching out to SMEs to join £188 billion supply chain


Heathrow today invited the SME community to reconnect with its multi-billion-pound supply chain, which it insists can be a part of the airport’s continued recovery, contributing to the local community’s growth and “global Britain’s prosperity”. 

The call comes as the airport announced the relaunch of its annual Business Summit. It has been three years since the 23rd edition took place in 2019, with proceedings postponed since the pandemic took hold.

Having sought feedback from the local community, this year’s Summit will set out a fresh vision for how SMEs can work with the airport.

Heathrow’s role as the largest employer in West London – with SMEs comprising over 40% of the airport’s supply chain – places the Summit as a unique opportunity for local SMEs to find out how they can work with larger suppliers and Heathrow itself as it continues to recover. 

According to the gateway, SMEs are central to its operation, noting that in 2019, approximately £188 billion of trade travelled through the airport alongside 80 million passengers.

 The airport’s recently refreshed sustainability strategy – Heathrow 2.0: Connecting People and Planet – set out how barriers to entry will be removed as well as a commitment to grow the proportion of SMEs in the airport’s supply chain from 40% to 50%. 

Helen Elsby, chief solutions officer at Heathrow, said: “While the last two years have presented an immense challenge for SMEs and local airport communities, we now have a huge opportunity to build back in a way that everyone can benefit from. That is why we are so keen for new SMEs to join our existing supply chain. 

“It is also why this year’s Business Summit is so exciting – we will be showcasing ways in which SMEs can get involved in creating a more sustainable, more resilient and more innovative airport which can benefit Britain for decades to come.” 

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