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Heathrow Airport seeks new SMEs for £188bn supply chain

Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport
28 September 2022
Heathrow Airport

Small and medium-sized enterprises are being invited to join or reconnect with its multi-billion-pound supply chain.

Along with supporting the airport’s continuing recovery, these SMEs will contribute to the growth of the local community and the wider country.

The invitation coincides with the relaunch of Heathrow’s annual Business Summit, which has been on hiatus since its 23rd edition in 2019, having been called off during the pandemic.

Upon its return this year, the Summit will detail a new plan for how SMEs and the airport can work together.

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.”

Read more - Gatwick Airport returns to profit for first time since pandemic

Being the largest employer in West London, the Summit gives local SMEs an opportunity to connect and network with larger suppliers along with the airport itself.

SMEs are a key part of Heathrow’s operation, making up more than 40 per cent of its supply chain. In 2019, alongside 80 million passengers approximately £188 billion of trade travelled through the airport.

The Summit will highlight ways in which SMEs can be part of Heathrow’s sustainable growth as it bounces back from the disruption to its supply chain and passenger numbers in the past three years.

Heathrow has also recently updated its sustainability strategy. Heathrow 2.0: Connection People and Planet details how obstacles 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%.

The Summit which will take place in partnership with local Chambers of Commerce, business groups and local stakeholders, will be a unique opportunity for larger suppliers to showcase procurement opportunities and for SMEs to discover new networks.

Paul Britton, CEO at Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce Group, said: “We are excited to see Heathrow’s Business Summit back up and running.

“As has always been the case, this Summit provides a fantastic opportunity for Thames Valley businesses to connect with the largest employer in West London and seek out new opportunities.

“We look forward to our members showcasing the very best of our local SMEs and commerce once again.”

Read more - EasyJet unveils roadmap to reach net zero


Sam is the Regional Editor of Biz News, responsible for both Hampshire and Dorset.

A new recruit to journalism, Sam started writing for the Business Magazine as a freelancer in May of 2022 after completing his degree in English at University College London. His passion for local businesses and ability to tell a story soon caught the attention of the publication’s management team and have led to his meteoric rise.

Sam, who lives in central Reading, takes a particular interest in technology, gaming and food and drink, having been a chef before starting his degree.

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