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Small firms need support in public sector

Published 14 Aug 2008
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A business lobby group is pushing for more help to ensure that small businesses win a fair share of public sector work.

Responding to a government push to improve small firm's access to public contracts, the Federation of Small Businesses said that it welcomes the target for SMEs to win 30 per cent of all public sector contracts, but urges that the target be specifically aimed at the ‘micro' end of the SME scale.

The FSB is calling on the government to ensure micro businesses benefit by guaranteeing that all small businesses have a minimum of three weeks for a tender response and ensuring that local authorities hold tender briefing meetings with local businesses.

Colin Stratton, FSB Regional Chairman for the North East of England, said: "We believe that with a target in place, efforts can be implemented to achieving the goal, rather than discussing whether there should be one. Small businesses in the North East add to vibrant communities and offer great value for money. Furthermore by utilising and supporting regional small businesses, trade is kept local and profitability is preserved which will support the local economy.

"We are pleased that the government is investigating small businesses and procurement. What we would like to see now, is targets to be implemented to ensure small businesses win public sector contracts and reduce the barriers and red tape which small businesses face."

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