In the House of Commons Chamber on 8th February, Mid Worcestershire MP Nigel Huddleston pressed Cabinet Office Minister Ben Gummer MP on the status of the Government’s push to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to win Government contracts - particularly with its “contracts finder” website which has been set up to facilitate the procurement of contracts in diverse areas such as transport, digital services and catering. He applauded the Government’s efforts so far and asked how many businesses are now signed up on contracts finder.
In 2013 to 2014, central government spent an unprecedented £11.4 billion with small and medium-sized businesses – those employing 250 employees or less. This is equivalent to 26% of central government spend. By 2020, the government wants to increase this to a third. This would mean an extra £3 billion per year (in 2013 to 2014 terms) going to small and medium-sized firms directly or through the supply chain.
In response to Nigel’s question in the chamber, the minister said that there are currently 15,745 companies signed up to contracts finder and encouraged Mr Huddleston to make his constituents aware of the site and its benefits.
Nigel Huddleston said: “Contracts finder is a potentially vital resource for small and medium sized Worcestershire companies to secure Government contracts valued at £10,000 or greater. It covers sectors across the economy and I applaud the Government for running a service that facilitates such varied and potentially profitable opportunities for thousands of businesses. I would strongly encourage companies in Worcestershire to investigate the contracts available on the site, as there could be a Government project that they are perfectly suited to execute and ultimately benefit from.”