UK Small Businesses Missing Out On Public Sector Opportunities

Despite local government spend topping £227bn, the lion's share of SMEs still avoid taking advantage of this opportunity.

A lack of technical know-how, fears over red tape and feeling powerless to compete with larger organisations are the primary reasons cited according to Graham Longley.

At a time when Westminster is placing a strong emphasis on exporting, small businesses are now also advised to look closer to home in search of growth opportunities.

A local government contract not only offers a steady revenue stream, it signals the high quality of a business, making it an invaluable new business tool.

Aiming to make winning contracts more accessible than ever, Business Southend has launched a Local Procurement Portal aimed at businesses of any size. A key feature for small businesses is the innovative ability to form consortiums with, so even embryonic sole traders can begin winning lucrative contracts.

The launch of the portal is an important step towards dispelling the myths that  public sector contracts are only for larger companies and that they necessarily involve a great deal of effort to achieve. 

A free Put The Pro in Procurement guide is also available for download and contains invaluable advice to businesses looking to do business with the public sector.

Graham Longley, Executive Councillor and Deputy Leader of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council says:

"We see first-hand how gaining public sector contracts can boost any business, from multi-nationals, to kitchen table start-ups. At Southend-on-Sea Borough Council we are working extremely hard to dispel some of the unhelpful procurement myths which still linger.

"From where we stand, local government contracts have never been easier to attain and there is a tremendous amount of support available to those who seek it, with the Business Southend Procurement Portal a prime example."

Southend-on-Sea is ideally placed for development and commercial investment and is home to a wealth of opportunities for businesses to develop, grow and prosper.

Listed as the 8th city in the UK with the highest business start-up rate, Southend has a high net flow of 22-30 year olds from London due to the quality of life, value for money transportation and vibrant city atmosphere.

Southend-on-Sea aims to direct companies to specialists who can offer support to enable growth, no matter what size or status. As one of the top ten fastest growing cities in the UK, Southend-on-Sea has one of the highest number of businesses per capita.*

Offering a support network from local training providers to business representation organisations such as Essex Chambers of Commerce and Federation for Small Businesses, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council provides a vital role which builds on and develops links helping lead to the economic success of local companies. 

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