Small businesses gain access to public sector contracts

Three month trial access begins today

Small and medium sized enterprises have been given greater access to 3,000 public sector contracts valued at under £100,000.

The trial, which starts today and will span a three month period, is part of the Department for Business’ enterprise strategy released in March which outlined new measures to increase the amount of government business that is won by small firms.

The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) says that more than 3,000 new contracts are available on www.supply2gov.uk each month. The three month free trial, available to businesses registering for the first time, will provide access to contracts throughout the UK rather than in a local area.

However, at the end of the trial, the registrant will only be able to obtain free access to the local area service. A charge will be levied if companies want to upgrade their subscription in order to maintain access at a national level.

Business minister Shriti Vadera said it is important that government supports the UK’s 4.5m small businesses. “Small and medium sized businesses need our support to expand. Many smaller businesses are more innovative, have lower costs and present better value for taxpayers than larger firms,” she commented.

Since it was launched in June 2006, www.supply2gov.uk has published more than 79,000 contract notices with many under the value of £100,000, thereby deeming them accessible to smaller businesses. The contracts put out to tender come from a wide range of sources – more than 5,000 public sector buyers have registered on the website, including local government, health, education and housing authorities, emergency services and the Olympic Delivery Authority.

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2008

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