24 October 2008
Nearly three-quarters of small businesses "rarely" or "never" bid on public sector contracts, a study has revealed.
The survey of 500 small and medium-sized firms by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) found 70 per cent do not regularly compete for government business. Some 55 per cent said this is because they have to invest too many resources to complete tendering processes.
The respondents also argued there is a lack of responsiveness from public sector buyers and too much formality in the procurement process. In addition, 51 per cent said they could not compete because they were not made aware of contract opportunities.
John Wright, national chairman of the FSB, said: "Small businesses should be made aware of the practical steps they need to take to improve their bids. But without government support, small businesses are put at a disadvantage."
The FSB added small suppliers could make an important contribution to the economy during a financial crisis.