By Lynne Gowers on 9th March 2015

Government boosts contractor support

The latest figures from the Cabinet Office reveal that during 2013/14, the government increased expenditure given directly to smaller companies and contractors. They show a total of £11.4 million has been spent on helping to support the UK’s small-to-medium sized businesses (SMEs) over the past two years.

As well as this rise in spending, there has also been new legislation introduced to help boost operating conditions for small firms and self-employed workers by ensuring all public bodies must comply with a 30-day payment period when dealing with SMEs.

Piers Linney, a member of the government’s SME panel and co-chief executive officer of cloud computing firm Outsourcery, explained: “We know government business has been incredibly complicated and costly to bid for in the past and that was reflected in the tiny proportion of spend going to SMEs.

“This new legislation and the new site create a huge opportunity for SME businesses with reduced cash flow risk.”

Contractors could also benefit from a revamp of the Contracts Finder website, which allows contractors, freelancers and other self-employed individuals to research potential new businesses, clients and contracts.

The site can be accessed on mobile devices and contains details about ongoing and future public sector central government contracts worth up to £10,000 and other public sector jobs up to £25,000.

Lord David Young, enterprise adviser to the prime minister, explained: “Contracts Finder is a world first in terms of scale and ambition. It opens up government businesses like never before and levels the playing field for SMEs who in the past, didn’t know how to find public sector contracts, let alone bid for them.”

Written by Lynne Gowers
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