New government guide gives vital support to UK small businesses

by Victoria Thomason

04 Jan 2022

The government has released a SME guide in their continued efforts to support smaller businesses to gain better access to the £50 billion worth of public contracts tendered each year. Our CEO, Pamela Cook, is a part of the Cabinet Office Small Business panel tasked with ensuring the guide provides the best possible advice to SMEs. She has been working on the Small Business Panel for many years and regularly reports on the progress they are making within central government.


Pamela Cook said:

“It is really important to me to be an advocate for UK small businesses and being a part of the Cabinet Office’s Small Business panel puts me in a great position to help enact real change. As a UK business owner myself, I know how difficult it can be to navigate procurement processes and become a part of government supply chains. The last couple of years especially have put an extra strain on SMEs trying to operate in extreme circumstances.

“I am determined to keep using my voice and position to drive a better landscape for small business in the UK. As part of the panel, we worked hard to ensure that this latest guide gives real, practical advice and support that business owners can use to improve their chances of successfully delivering to government.”


The “Selling to Government” guide includes advice on where business owners can look online for Government contract opportunities and includes tips on how SMEs can make sure they are showcasing their strengths during the bidding process. This will be backed up by online webinar sessions for small businesses.

The guide also gives guidance on how businesses can secure work through supply chains by working with larger companies to help deliver things such as long-running IT or catering projects.

It also goes a step further, advising how the government considers Social Value when choosing suppliers. This will then allow agile, smaller enterprises to highlight the work they do in their communities and ultimately offer them a better chance of winning government contracts.


Cabinet Office Minister Lord Agnew said:

“In the most recent figures, SMEs won more than £15billion in government contracts.

“But we want it to be easier for them to work with government and this guide, published in support of Small Business Saturday, will help small businesses navigate what can be a complex world of public procurement.

“That’s why we’re also bringing in sweeping procurement rules changes, to make it easier and more flexible for SMEs to win government work.

“The Cabinet Office has previously announced other measures which aim to level the playing field for SMEs in the Transforming Public Procurement green paper. The changes contained in the paper will completely overhaul the current EU rules, removing barriers for smaller suppliers by getting rid of unnecessarily complicated regulations. Bureaucratic rules can put SMEs off bidding for contracts so the new reforms will open the door to public procurement for small and medium-sized companies.

“We are simplifying the bidding process to make it easier for SMEs to secure contracts by creating one single central platform which suppliers have to register on, so they only have to submit their data once to qualify for any public sector procurement.”


Small Business Crown Representative, Martin Traynor OBE said:

“Smaller organisations can offer excellent value for money and a rich source of innovation, as well as a more agile business model than larger suppliers. They play a vital role in helping government to deliver efficient, effective public services that meet the needs of our citizens.

“We are fully committed to breaking down barriers for SMEs who want to supply to the Government either directly or in the supply chain. I welcome the publication of this guide as part of the support on offer.”


To view the guide, click here.