UK government SME spending exceeds £11bn, says report
Direct and indirect spending by the UK government topped £11 billion during 2013/14, according to a report.
The UK government’s spending on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) accounted for 26.1 per cent of all purchases made by Whitehall during the 2013/14 financial year, which meant the government exceeded its goal for 25 per cent of its procurement to go through SMEs, according to the latest figures.
In total, the government spent £11.4 billion during the financial year between 2013 and 2014, with £4.5 billion spent directly on SMEs and £6.9 indirectly via the supply chain.
These latest statistics have been released to coincide with the refreshed Contracts Finder website and a bunch of new legislation, such as a rule that will enforce a 30-day time limit throughout the government supply chain to stop SMEs being victims of late payments.
“As part of our long-term economic plan this government is overhauling public procurement to open things up to businesses of all sizes. I am so pleased that our reforms have ensured that innovative SMEs benefited from £11.4 billion of business last year alone,” said Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude.
“Over a quarter of our spend now goes to SMEs but we know there’s much more to do, and these new reforms show just how determined we are to finish the job.”
Small businesses in the UK have often been cited as the “backbone” of the economy and have received a lot of support from the government, however, more still needs to be done, according to John Longworth, director general of the British Chamber of Commerce.
In a recent report, Mr Longworth noted that the number of businesses being created in the UK is hitting record levels and Britain is well placed for “great, long-term sustainable growth”, however, several issues need to be addressed to realise this growth - such as access to finance for businesses, the ageing infrastructure, overly complex taxes, and promotion of trade.