Government keeps momentum with SME agenda despite pandemic setbacks

by Pamela Cook

11 Dec 2020

This week I attended the latest meeting of the Government’s Small Business Panel, and it was extremely encouraging to hear progress is still being made on our objectives despite the disruption of 2020.

Martin Traynor OBE, the Small Business Crown Representative for the Cabinet Office was able to deliver some positive news on the recent progress made with the Department for Work and Pensions and several insurance brokers to remove barriers for SMEs to several initiatives. This would not have been possible without the dedicated effort of some of our key Panel members working with Martin and it a great achievement for the Panel.

The Small Business Commissioner, Philip King also reported on successes supporting prompt payments to SMEs from large suppliers. Philip works closely with the Panel’s Prompt Payment Working Group and his proactive commitment to the SME community is commendable.

Finally, Lord Agnew offered some very encouraging updates, not least the consultation being released to transform public procurement. This will have real advantage to SME organisations looking to supply to government, as well as delivering significant benefits to the public purse. He also confirmed his ongoing commitment to supporting the prompt payments initiative being worked on by other members of the panel.

SMEs in the UK have suffered tremendously this year due to the pandemic. And so, in a year where priorities have been turned on their heads, and day jobs have been side-lined to make way for Covid response, it is fantastic to see that the Government is still keeping SME support at the top of its agenda.