Big Opportunities for small firms: Government set to spend £1 in every £3 with small business

The government are setting an ambitious target that £1 in every £3 government spends will be with small businesses by 2020. 

28/08/2015, news

Matt Hancock, the Minister for the Cabinet Office has announced an ambitious new target to get more small businesses working on central government contracts.

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.

Earlier this year, the government improved the way it buys goods and services to help more small businesses bid for public sector contracts, by:

  • requiring the entire public sector supply chain to be paid within 30 days
  • abolishing pre-qualification questionnaires for low value public sector contracts, making it simpler and quicker to buy
  • requiring the public sector to publish its contracts in one place on Contracts Finder

Each government department and the Crown Commercial Service will now make sure that it meets this target by setting out individual plans and targets for spending with small and medium-sized businesses over the next 5 years.

Minister for the Cabinet Office Matt Hancock said:

“This is such an amazing opportunity for the country’s diverse and innovative small businesses, and today I urge them to get stuck in. From computers to uniforms – there are so many opportunities for small businesses to work with us, and I want to see more of them providing value for money for the taxpayer and benefiting from our spending.”

To search for government contracts to suit your business, visit