Heathrow invites new SMEs to join £188bn supply chain

Company London Heathrow Airport
Date 23.09.2022
  • Heathrow has today launched an invitation for new SMEs to join Team Heathrow’s supply chain as it relaunches its annual Business Summit.
  • SMEs play a critical role in enabling the £188bn worth of trade that passes through Heathrow each year*, alongside the millions of passengers that travel through the airport. 
  • The 24th edition of the Business Summit is the first since 2019 and will take place on November 15th at the London Heathrow Marriott Hotel. It will enable SMEs to discover new opportunities at Heathrow and learn about how they can be a part of a sustainable supply chain.

Heathrow has today invited the SME community to reconnect with its multi-billion-pound supply chain. These SMEs can be a part of the airport’s continued recovery, contributing to the local community’s growth and global Britain’s prosperity.

The call comes as the airport announced the relaunch of its annual Business Summit. It has been three years since the 23rd edition took place in 2019, with proceedings postponed since the pandemic took hold. Having sought feedback from the local community, this year’s Summit will set out a fresh vision for how SMEs can work with the airport.

Heathrow’s role as the largest employer in West London – with SMEs comprising over 40% of the airport’s supply chain – places the Summit as a unique opportunity for local SMEs to find out how they can work with larger suppliers and Heathrow itself as it continues to recover.

SMEs are central to Heathrow’s operation. In 2019, approximately £188 billion of trade travelled through the airport alongside 80 million passengers. While the last few years have led to unprecedented disruption in Heathrow’s supply chain and passenger numbers, the Business Summit will highlight ways in which SMEs can be part of how Heathrow grows sustainably.

The Summit is only one of a range of initiatives Heathrow has already established to ensure its supply chain rebuilds sustainably. The airport’s recently refreshed sustainability strategy – Heathrow 2.0: Connecting People and Planet – set out how barriers to entry will be removed as well as a commitment to grow the proportion of SMEs in the airport’s supply chain from 40% to 50%.

The Summit will take place in partnership with local Chambers of Commerce, business groups and local stakeholders. It will be a unique opportunity for larger suppliers to showcase procurement opportunities and for SMEs to discover new networks.

Paul Britton, CEO at Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce Group, said: “We are excited to see Heathrow’s Business Summit back up and running. As has always been the case, this Summit provides a fantastic opportunity for Thames Valley businesses to connect with the largest employer in West London and seek out new opportunities. We look forward to our members showcasing the very best of our local SMEs and commerce once again.”

Helen Elsby, Chief Solutions Officer at Heathrow, said: “While the last two years have presented an immense challenge for SMEs and local airport communities, we now have a huge opportunity to build back in a way that everyone can benefit from. That is why we are so keen for new SMEs to join our existing supply chain.

“It is also why this year’s Business Summit is so exciting – we will be showcasing ways in which SMEs can get involved in creating a more sustainable, more resilient and more innovative airport which can benefit Britain for decades to come.”


Heathrow Airport
United Kingdom
  • 0844 335 1801