30 June 2006
Small business groups have praised a government website designed to help them gain access to public-sector contracts.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has announced that 7,000 contracts below £100,000 are now advertised on www.supply2.gov.uk 9 0 /edit/images/new_window_icon.gif 14 12 Opens a new window 0 false false false false
%>]]>. The online portal, a joint venture between the DTI and the Office of Government Commerce, has been operating since March but was officially launched this week.
Teresa Graham, a member of the Small Business Council, which advises government on the needs of small businesses, said in a statement: "This is a wonderful step forward in the government's agenda to remove barriers faced by small businesses."
John Kell, policy officer at the Professional Contractors Group (PCG), which represents freelance consultants and contractors, agreed the site was helping to publicise opportunities, but added that requirements demanded by potential clients continue to present barriers to small businesses.
"The new portal does not remove the barriers [freelance consultants and contractors] face." He said "excessive requirements" for funds and insurances to be in place before a tender can be submitted was one such restriction. "But at least small businesses can now see what is available," he added.