MILLIONS of pounds of deals will be done by firms in Hampshire this year, thanks to a county-wide business event.
The seventh South Hampshire Meet the Buyers day, led by Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, brought dozens of companies face-to-face with major buyers of business services, including public organisations.
A similar event held in 2012 generated deals worth an estimated £6.25m.
Among the buyers from the Portsmouth area present this year were Hippo Waste Management, Portsmouth Water and defence contractors Astrium and Lockheed Martin UK.
Portsmouth City Council also took part for the first time as a sponsor and buyer.
Business services manager Ian Bridges said: ‘We want to support business and so it was great to see companies big and small attending an event that is so valuable to the regional supply chain.
‘It is really important for us as a procuring organisation to meet with business people and ensure they are aware of potential work.’
Portsmouth suppliers represented sectors including engineering, manufacturing, telecoms, construction, marketing, printing and cloud technology.
Natasha Curry, general manager of Fratton building firm Lifetime Construction, said: ‘We’ve been coming to this event for the past five years and each year we have won business afterwards.
‘The face-to-face contact with procurement managers is a great way to grow relationships with existing clients and pick up new business. It helps you understand what work contracts are available and coming up.’
Hampshire Chamber co-ordinates the annual event with support from a partnership of local authorities.
As well as Portsmouth City Council, the authorities are Hampshire County Council, New Forest District Council, Eastleigh Borough Council, Test Valley Borough Council and Winchester City Council.
This year’s event was opened by new Eastleigh MP, Mike Thornton.
Maureen Frost, Hampshire Chamber’s deputy chief executive, said: ‘The success of the event is down to a strong partnership between the Chamber, businesses and local authorities.
‘We’re delighted that Portsmouth City Council came on board this year as one of the sponsors.
‘It’s all about creating jobs and investment in Portsmouth, Fareham, Gosport and across the country.’