Headlines: May 1st, 2008

From today small and medium sized businesses will get free access to thousands of opportunities to win contacts from the public sector. Until the end of July businesses can register for contracts that are individually valued at under 100,000 pounds.

The free trial via the site http://www.supply2.gov.uk is part of the Department for Business’s Enterprise Strategy which was launched in March and set out measures to increase the amount of government business placed with smaller companies. John Wright, the National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses welcomed the new measure, which he felt would encourage more small businesses to try delivering goods and services to the public sector.

“But local authorities and government departments must play their part too by making sure that more small business opportunities are advertised on Supply2. Opening up public sector procurement to the UK’s 4.5 million small businesses can and should eradicate the false assumption that biggest is always best,” Mr. Wright said.

More than 3,000 new contracts are available on the site each month and the free trial is available to businesses registering for the first time in the next three months. They will then gain access to contracts throughout the UK rather than in a nominated local area.

The Business Minister Shriti Vadera said small and medium sized firms needed support to grow and many of them were more innovative, had lower costs and offered better value for taxpayers than larger firms. “Introducing Britain’s small firms to Government procurement contracts online will provide opportunities to grow that they would not have otherwise found,” he added.