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The Government has announced a bold new target of ensuring that ‘£1 in every £3 government spends will be with small businesses by 2020,’ so if you’ve never considered bidding on a Government contract, now could be the time.

A Continuing Trend

In recent years, the Government has been trying to urge more and more small businesses to bid for central government contracts, and spent an unprecedented £11.4 billion with small and medium-sized businesses in 2013-14.

In February, the Government issued procurement reforms to make public procurement more accessible to SMEs, which abolished pre-qualification questionnaires for low value public sector contracts, required the entire public sector supply chain to be paid within 30 days and made publishing of public sector contracts in one place compulsory – meaning you can easily find suitable contracts for your business and have the added bonus of knowing you will be paid within the month.

By 2020, the Government plans to have increased its spend with small businesses to one third of its total spend – meaning an extra £3 billion will be going to small and medium-sized firms directly or through the supply chain compared to 2013-14. Each department and the Crown Commercial Service will have to set out their own plans for hitting their small business spending targets over the next 5 years.

Get Stuck In!

Minister for the Cabinet Office and Matt Hancock, the former Minister for Business and Enterprise, said the new target is “an amazing opportunity for the country’s diverse and innovative small businesses.”

“Today I urge them to get stuck in,” he said. “From computers to uniforms – there are so many opportunities for small businesses to work with us, and I want to see more of them providing value for money for the taxpayer and benefiting from our spending.”

Available Government contracts in England worth £10,000 or more are available on, where you can search for contracts in different sectors, view future opportunities and study previous tender and contract details. Opportunities with public sector bodies in Scotland can be found on Public Contracts Scotland; for Wales, on  Sell2Wales; and for opportunities with public sector bodies with public sector bodies in Northern Ireland, eSourcing NI.

‘Good Economic Sense All Round.’

John Manzoni, Chief Executive of the Civil Service said: “Further opening up our marketplace to small businesses is good economic sense all round – making it easier for them to access and win government business opportunities, whilst encouraging increased competition and market innovation to deliver best value for the taxpayer.”

John Allan, National Chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), also welcomed “the government’s commitment to achieve this ambitious target.” He said the Government “has much to gain from opening up public procurement to smaller businesses,” and that the FSB would play its part in helping ministers reach this new goal.

However, Mr. Allan warned that to meet the target, the Government will need to “focus on robust monitoring and challenge of poor practices wherever they are found.”


About The Author

Karl Bilby

We work very closely with our expert accountants to bring you the latest factually correct tax and accounting news. We also enjoy writing about small business news that we hope you find useful!

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