BHP program injects $250 million into small businesses

C-Res's Tracey Cuttriss-Smith (L) and Jessie Appleton (R) stand with C2H staff.

BHP and C-Res’s Local Buying Program (LBP) has hit a milestone by investing $250 million in small Australian businesses.

The program was launched by BHP, BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) and BHP Billiton Mitsui Coal (BMC), in collaboration with cost-neutral organisation C-Res, in 2012.

It has since expanded to New South Wales (in 2016) and then South Australia and Western Australia (in 2017).

The program was launched as a way for both small local businesses and BHP to mutually benefit from the provision of goods and services to BHP Minerals Australia operations.

This has resulted in new machinery, technology and products for businesses.

Mackay-based LBP was HDPE piping company C2H Piping Services has prospered through the program, winning an award for upskilling young and disabled people in the workforce.

C2H general manager Jamie Williams said registering as an approved LBP supplier secured the business access to “numerous opportunities” in central Queensland’s resource sector.

“The support and guidance offered by the C-Res team streamlined the whole process and the payment terms offered by the program have made such a positive impact on our business cash flow,” he said.

“Our involvement with the program has increased the visibility of C2H Piping Services in the region which is contributing to our growth.”

C-Res chief executive officer Tracey Cuttriss-Smith added, “I am so pleased to have been a part of this journey and seeing what the program can really do for small businesses in local communities like Mackay, and the true contribution we have made to the communities we live and work in.”

The program’s success has resulted in funding increases for business development programs through a related initiative, the Local Buying Foundation (LBF), which has branches in Queensland and New South Wales and aims to build regional business programs aligned with the needs of the business community.

Co-chair of the Queensland branch Peter Dowling commented, “From concept to implementation, the Local Buying Program and its associated Foundation is delivering benefits not only to local businesses but BHP.

“It’s a leading local procurement program designed to directly benefit local businesses, building regional business capacity for our operations in Queensland.”

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