UK government set to spend £1 in every £3 with small businesses
In 2013 to 2014, central government spent £11.4 billion with small and medium-sized businesses – those employing 250 employees or less. This is equivalent to 26% of central government spend.
By 2020, the government wants to increase this to a third. This would mean an extra £3 billion per year (in 2013 to 2014 terms) going to small and medium-sized firms directly or through the supply chain.
Earlier this year, the government improved the way it buys goods and services to help more small businesses bid for public sector contracts, by requiring the entire public sector supply chain to be paid within 30 days; abolishing pre-qualification questionnaires for low value public sector contracts, making it simpler and quicker to buy; and requiring the public sector to publish its contracts in one place on Contracts Finder.
Each government department and the Crown Commercial Service will now make sure that it meets this target by setting out individual plans and targets for spending with small and medium-sized businesses over the next 5 years. ■