Government spends nearly £2 billion more with small businesses

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Government spent £14.2 billion with small and medium size businesses in 2018-19, an increase of £1.8 billion on the previous year, official data show.

The amount was highest since government records began in 2013.

“We’re committed to using the power of government spending to support small businesses across the country and this is something I’ve championed in my time as a Minister – so it’s great to see these figures heading in the right direction,” Cabinet Office Minister Oliver Dowden said.

Trade bodies have welcomed the increased investment in the sector.

“Making better use of small businesses in government procurement is good for public services, good for the economy and good for taxpayers. The Cabinet Office is showing real leadership to drive further progress on this issue and it is good to see this progress begin to be reflected in today’s figures,” said Mike Cherry, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses.

He said FSB will continue to work with government in fulfilling its commitment for one third of public procurement to be with SMEs by 2022.

“Letting a greater proportion of public sector contracts to small businesses will increase competition, value for money and innovation, not to mention boost jobs across the UK,” he added.