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SMEs to have easier access to government contracts

SMEs to have easier access to government contracts

The SME Action Plan will unlock opportunities for smaller businesses to access government contracts as part of a £35 million promise.

  • Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
  • March 07, 2019
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Smaller businesses will be given easier access to government contracts as part of a £35 million promise to unlock more opportunities through a new SME Action Plan, Small Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst announced this week. 

The SME Action Plan sets out a commitment by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) that by 2022, at least £1 in every £3 the government spends will be with smaller businesses. It also foresees that the BEIS Group will spend an extra £35 million with SMEs to level the playing field for businesses bidding for government procurement contracts. 

BEIS and its partner agencies currently spend about £360 million a year on SMEs. 

To help smaller businesses find subcontracting work, the department will also ensure the government’s larger suppliers advertise on its Contracts Finder site.

"The UK’s 5.7 million SMEs are the lifeblood of our economy, employing 16 million people and accounting for £1.9 trillion of turnover. They work hard, day in and day out, creating jobs, opportunities and greater choice for consumers and helping to keep the UK a great place to start and grow a business," Ms Tolhurst said.

"That is why this government’s modern Industrial Strategy is fully behind them and we are working, through initiatives like the SME Action Plan, to build a Britain in which they can continue to thrive," she noted. 

The SME Action Plan forms an important part of the government's modern Industrial Strategy to ensure it is doing more to grow the UK’s status as one of the best places in the world to start and grow a business.

The strategy looks to shape the right environment for business, invest in research, build a workforce with the right skills for industries of the future and seize new trading opportunities after the UK leaves the EU.

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