"Financing projects from £50,000 to £100 million"

Government offering more business to SMEs

Government offering more business to SMEs

A new report released by the Government last week suggests that it is on target to award a quarter of central government business to small British businesses by 2015.

The latest ‘Making government business more accessible to SMEs: Two Years On’ report said that spend flow to SMEs had increased by half under the Coalition government – from £3 billion in 2009-10 to £4.5 billion in 2012-13.

Twelve government departments increased their volume of spending towards SMEs in the past year, the report said, compared to just seven departments during the previous year.

The Department for Business, Industry and Skills (BIS) led the way in delegating workflow to SMEs, increasing its direct spend from £295 million in 2011/12 to £422 million in 2012/13.

The Ministry of Defence remained the highest source of government contracts for small businesses, increasing its direct spend by £55 million and reaching an indirect spend (calculated against total procurement spend) of almost £2 billion.

The aspiration to delegate 25% of government spending to small businesses is seen as a milestone by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) for the impact that Britain’s small businesses can have on the delivery of goods and services.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: "There is still more to do in achieving the 25% aspiration, but with 2 years to go, the initiatives that the Government has put in place will ensure we continue to drive progress."

Further plans in place to support SMEs include an amendment to the Funding for Lending Scheme, which is to be skewed towards businesses in order to equalise the impact it has already had on the residential mortgage market since its launch a year ago.

The launch of Vince Cable’s business bank should also add further competition to the market for business lending.

The measures appear to be taking affect, with employment prospects now at their strongest level in a number of years.

The new Labour Market Outlook report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development suggests that the number of employers who expect to expand their workforce is currently 14% above those who expect to reduce their workforce.

This caps a remarkable turnaround from 18 months ago, when 8% more employers expected to lose workers than those who expected to gain them.

Monday, 12 August 2013 11:25
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