Thanks to a government initiative to help British SMEs, red tape that once prevented them from winning government contracts will now be removed helping them to have improved access to opportunities in the public sector.
These changes were made as a result of The Report on Small Firms 2010-2015 and the report stated the pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) will be removed permanently for those contracts that are below the EU threshold for goods and services.
Many directors are deterred by the fact that the PQQ can be 40 pages long and the fact that it asks for a large selection of information which is irrelevant. It is this that makes it extremely difficult for SMEs to compete with larger businesses.
The idea is to make the whole process more open and understandable and there is hope that smaller firms will be able to compete for contracts on a more balanced and fair scale. The report also highlights a pledge made by the government in which it plans to eliminate late payments which resulted in a supplier’s access to working capital being difficult but it also left them dispirited, stopping them from competing for future public sector business.
All public sector bodies will now have a legal duty to pay their bills within 30 days as 33% of public sector bodies take longer than 30 days to pay their bills currently.
The government is also targeting younger people in the hope that they can encourage them to become entrepreneurs through offering an enterprise advisor to all head teacher so that speakers can be brought into schools. There will also be an enterprise passport introduced which will list all extra-curricular accomplishments, in the hope that this will encourage young people to learn and improve business skills outside school through an investment of £20 million in new initiatives.