ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT–Supplier Development Program Announced atTrade Show The province is helping Nova Scotia companies to get a biggerslice of the $1 billion it spends in public procurement eachyear. While 80 per cent of goods, services and construction theprovincial government purchases is from Nova Scotia vendors,there is still room to grow. A new Supplier Development Programannounced today, May 19, is aimed at encouraging even more salesfor Nova Scotia companies. “The province is committed to working with Nova Scotia suppliersto help them increase access to business opportunities andimprove competitiveness in all markets,” said EconomicDevelopment Minister Ernest Fage. Mr. Fage announced the Supplier Development Program as CumberlandCounty vendors gathered at the Cumberland Municipal Building inNappan. Provincial and municipal governments and school boardsmet with public sector buyers at what is billed as the first in aseries of “reverse trade shows” to be held regionally. Ratherthan vendors holding a trade show for potential clients toattend, the reverse is true in this case — the buyer is holdinga trade show for the vendor to attend. “Our goal is to ensure that all public sector procurement iscarried out in an open, competitive, fair and consistent manner,”said Mr. Fage. “The province is supportive of our vendors and weare organizing our efforts to ensure that local vendors have theopportunity to bid on goods and services required by the publicsector.” As promised in the Blueprint, the Supplier Development Programwill help small business bid on government goods and services andwill provide new outreach services and community workshops onaccessing procurement opportunities. Reverse trade shows are only one component of the program. TheProcurement Branch of the Office of Economic Development willcontinually update its website at www.gov.ns.ca/econ/ as newcomponents evolve in the weeks and months ahead.