Heathrow hosts 25th Business Summit in celebration of local SMEs

Heathrow brought together hundreds of local business leaders to celebrate and connect the SMEs and entrepreneurs who keep the UK’s hub airport flowing.

The 25th Heathrow Business Summit, which took place on 16 November, welcomed nearly 500 people from across the region and beyond to share tips and open doors for doing business in the airport’s supply chain.

The annual event gives unique access to leaders from across Heathrow and its direct suppliers, with exhibits from over 45 local SMEs.

The Business Summit seeks to help boost local economic growth and encourage smaller companies to expand their services to the airport, ensuring local businesses and SMEs benefit from having the UK’s largest single site of employment on their doorstep.

From software developers to scaffolders, employment specialists to engineers, there is a huge range of ways to work with Heathrow.

The airport is always on the look out for great partners whose expertise can improve airport facilities, give passengers a great journey and support Heathrow’s sustainability plans.

The summit was held in partnership with local chambers of commerce and business groups and included over 20 speakers taking to the stage.

They included panel discussions, suppliers and airport bosses, alongside speeches from Heathrow CEO Thomas Woldbye and Lord David Blunkett.

Following the Business Summit, trophies were handed out to celebrate the airport’s existing partners and SMEs at its Heathrow Awards. The evening event gave an opportunity to honour those who best embody the airport’s vision for being a responsible business.

Winners included parking services firm APCOA for actively helping job applicants who had previously had barriers into work, and digital services company AJAR for supporting a new T Level programme at Cranford Community College – opening careers and skills for the next generation.

The top prizes for supplier of the year went to People Scout for their role in the airport’s mass recruitment post-pandemic, and Solvd Together for developing an immersive training programme to empower Heathrow colleagues to lead the airport over the years to come.

The awards also served as a fundraiser for local causes, with nearly £100,000 donated to the Heathrow Community Trust (HCT) by the end of the night. HCT is a grant-giving charity that helps hundreds of organisations to continue to deliver support to some of the area’s most vulnerable residents.

Becky Coffin, Heathrow’s Director of Communities and Sustainability, said, “We want to make this a great place to live and work and that means giving those who live closest the opportunity to get involved.

“We wouldn’t be where we are today without the expertise and experience that SMEs bring to Heathrow.

“It was an honour to celebrate the great work of our partners and see new connections being made at our Business Summit.”