“Wherever BHP operates regionally we try to ensure local businesses can build capability and capacity through the Local Buying Program,” said Kristy Marks, Specialist Local Buying for BHP.
“The aim of the Local Buying Program is that the whole community has the opportunity to benefit from the outcomes and the positive force created."
Initially created in Queensland in 2012, the Local Buying Program which is delivered by Community Resourcing for the Future (C-Res) via a strategic partnership with BHP, was designed to enable small local businesses to supply goods and services to Coal operations located in the Bowen Basin.
Since its inception, the Program has grown and proved so successful that it was rolled out nationally in 2017 and operates across every BHP Minerals Australian operation via a public website platform, www.localbuying.com.au
One of the integral parts of the Local Buying Program is the benefits that come from the partnership between BHP and C-Res. This partnership has enabled the success, the sustainability and the ongoing commitment that the Local Buying Program is renowned for - connecting Australia’s biggest business with Australia’s smallest business.
C-Res has more than 20 staff based in the local communities where BHP operates, including regional Business Engagement Advisors. They are a critical liaison point for businesses to link in with BHP, and a valuable resource for local business people.
"The Business Engagement Advisors actively support the local businesses by helping guide them with practical advice ranging from how to develop a capability statement, through to creating their first marketing strategy or website," Kristy said.
"While the Local Buying Program acts to provide work opportunities for local businesses, it’s also about building the capability and capacity of these businesses to bid for longer term and larger contracts directly with BHP and other major businesses, as well as servicing the needs of the community."
“Throughout my career at BHP, I have had the opportunity of living in regional communities and have seen the benefits of this program first hand.”
“I’m really proud of what BHP have done. I’ve seen businesses build their foundations and models, from a small business or a simple shop front to a fully functional and profitable business. As businesses expand and grow so do their employee numbers and in some cases opportunities are created for apprentices and trainees. This growth brings more families to the communities. It not only helps the businesses, which in turn helps BHP – but it really makes a solid difference to these communities.”