Last month Mark Prisk, Minister for Business and Enterprise, announced a number of measures to help small businesses. One of them was about making it easier to do business with the public sector.
On the Department for Innovation, Business & Skills (BIS) website it says:
The Government has a strong role to play in boosting enterprise and helping businesses. Critical to that is giving them access to Government contracts, instead of leaving that as the preserve of big business. To ensure this happens:
- A goal has been set to have a quarter of Government procurement directed to SMEs.
- Government agencies will aim to remove qualifying barriers that prevent small businesses accessing Government contracts.
- Government also reaffirms the commitment that 80% of prime contractors are paid within 5 working days. All Government contractors will be required to pay their suppliers within 30 days if they wish to benefit from departments’ procurement.
This is refreshing to hear – just hope that it is acted upon… so frequently we are seeing overly complex PQQs and tenders. Some are so complicated or convoluted (in terms of questions, requirements and strict submission rules) that they do put off many small and medium size businesses. Those that do participate are constantly frustrated by the time, money and effort it takes to tender – we know because we hear this straight from the business owners!
It would be good to hear from you about any signs of improvement that you see over the coming months.