Facilitating access to public markets for small and medium-sized enterprises is the meaning of the small business act. A concept and a name that emerged in the United States in the 1960s. In France, we came to it much more timidly. The idea appeared in particular in the report drawn up by Louis Gallois on the competitiveness of French industry in 2012. And it is also from industry that the idea of substantiated and refined proposals emerged in the Alpes Maritimes. The industry commission of the CCI Nice Côte d’Azur has indeed worked on a charter of commitment for public bodies by listing, in a way, the essential points, the ways of proceeding, the effective recommendations and the framework necessary for all works.
Because obviously, the context of economic recovery is crucial for VSE SMEs, which have often bowed down and need favorable conditions to generate growth. The growth is all there. The recovery plan and its 100 billion euros set the framework. It is up to economic players to make sense of it.
If, on paper and on the idea, everyone agrees, in fact, there are a few rules to follow so that this small business act is effective and inspires both businesses and communities.
Source, identify, allocate
Thus the charter details 22 proposals resulting from the recommendations of industrial companies. Probably the best way to be effective: starting from what companies want, have noticed, need, it’s often the best way to get them on board.
Among the 22 proposals, we note, for example, the idea of information meetings and presentation of the different buyer profiles to companies, in order to make the procedures and application submissions more fluid and easier. It is often this first step that makes very small organizations shy or costly, not wanting to waste their time.
Major and above all guarantee of efficiency, the proposal to set up, within organizations, a sourcing policy aims to save time also, rather on the side of the client. Here again, the goal is to facilitate the task and make it easier by identifying upstream the solutions and suppliers likely to respond to future calls for tenders. In short, to do intelligent and useful prospecting.
Recommended is the use of allotment. A way to allow more small businesses to participate. It is also advisable to publish calls for tenders at periods that go well, that is to say at the end of December, at the beginning of January and not in August.
Obviously, respecting the payment deadline is highly recommended. We do not forget the inter-company credit and that the good payment of one favors the good economic health of the other. 30 days is therefore good and it is better if it is applied in reality and not only on paper.
Strong proposal, that of authorizing the two forms of grouping – solidary or joint – must bring more flexibility by not imposing the solidarity of the members of the grouping nor of its representative. And specify that the form of the grouping can be modified along the way.
Same objective of flexibility, the possibility of revising the clauses and updating the prices according to the stakes of the operation and its evolution, it is not to lock the companies into a rigidity which could quickly be a brake.
Very important, because it is a real problem, abnormally low clauses must be detected. It is the sustainability of companies that is at stake, beyond, even if it is not negligible, the risk incurred by the two stakeholders.
Data and carbon footprint
Or it is also a question of data, which must be made accessible by buyers, in open source with free reuse. This is a point that should precisely encourage any type of company to come to calls for tenders. And it is also a not insignificant lever that acts in addition to public policies to support VSEs and SMEs. Take the principle of the virtuous circle…
It seems obvious, one would be tempted to say, but it goes even better by writing it black on white: a criterion measuring the carbon footprint of the product or service provided is desired as a criterion for evaluating candidates. This could be, depending on the product, the number of m3 of water, Kwh, kilometers or fuel consumed.
The small business act which is therefore the concern of the chambers of commerce and industry. In Aix-Marseille, the CCI promotes its Metropolitan Business Act, to encourage links between VSEs and SMEs established in the metropolitan area. In Nice Côte d’Azur, therefore, the charter is considered to be the right lever to strongly encourage communities to facilitate this. At the beginning of July, the urban community of the Pays de Grasse should sign its formal commitment. Snowball effect expected.
But the subject is also invited in the electoral campaign, in particular of the Regional ones. Proof if there is and the crisis is not for nothing, that the fate of VSE SMEs which constitute in Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur, 98% of the economic fabric is intrinsically linked to the good health of the territory itself . If we already knew it, awareness has clearly increased during the crisis. The fact remains that, if the context of the recovery is obviously a favorable momentum to encourage the small business act, it must enter into mentalities, uses and become a habit. It will then be the moment when there will no longer be a need for a charter…