SHORTEN supply chains and buy locally – that is the message to West Yorkshire businesses from experts in the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Leeds, York & North Yorkshire Chamber and accountancy firm Deloitte.
They say that increased transport costs, the weak pound and need to cut carbon emissions all make buying British – particularly buying Yorkshire – a good idea.
Andrew Palmer, CBI regional director, said: "Never before has there been more reason to buy British, and from within the region if possible. The growth of the economy and future job creation could be given a massive boost by even a small increase in the percentage of goods sourced here, and we are urging firms to invest time in refreshing supplier databases to try and find new trading relationships in the region.
"We aren't pretending that every component or material can be found on your doorstep, but we do know that there are many instances where a little time spent on research could deliver efficiencies for the buyer, reduce costs and benefit the local and regional economy, and that is just sensible."
His view was supported by David Raistrick, national head of manufacturing at Leeds-based Deloitte. He said a boost to the local economy could create thousands of jobs.
"It has never made more sense for Yorkshire businesses to buy raw materials, components and even finished products locally.There is a lot of investment in South Yorkshire and in particularly Sheffield in the engineering sector, and the Leeds city region still has a base of thousands of manufacturing companies that are diverse and very competitive in a huge range of markets," he said.
Gary Williamson, chief executive at the Leeds, York and North Yorkshire Chamber, said: "Local authorities and government bodies must adhere to strict competitive guidelines when it comes to procurement, but a key component of these is environmental impact, and the shorter the distance from maker to consumer the lower the carbon impact of the product.
"Whilst we can never be self sufficient, we tend to forget that businesses here manufacture a huge range of products, and if we all look to source closer to home where possible we will create jobs, reduce carbon emissions and keep more of our money flowing around the UK economy."