“Winning a contract to supply goods and services to the government can provide a vital springboard for businesses looking to expand their operations. It is positive that the government is becoming more open to the potential for innovative ideas and delivery from companies of all sizes."
The government is to outline details later of how it will double the amount it spends with SMEs by 100% - from £3bn to £6bn – by the end of the year.
Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude is set to speak at an event where he will update suppliers and small business leaders on progress on the SME agenda and to unveil new measures to boost SMEs winning government business.
Key to the announcement are details of how sub-contracting by larger firms to smaller ones will work in practice, and schemes for speeding up payments to smaller firms.
“In 2010 SMEs accounted for 50% of turnover in the UK economy but won only around 6.5% of the value of central government's procurement spend,” Maude is reported as about to announce.
"This was clearly mitigating against UK growth and jobs. Failing to create a level playing field for smaller suppliers excluded some of the most competitive and innovative suppliers.
"We want to make the UK one of the best places in Europe to start, finance and grow a business and as well as using procurement levers we are also reducing tax and regulatory barriers, promoting exports, access to finance and entrepreneurial aspiration."
Employers organisation the CBI was positive about the plans. Its Head of Innovation, Tim Bradshaw, said, “The progress which the Government has made enabling SMEs to supply it with goods and services – whether directly or through supply chain partners – is to be welcomed.