Small businesses in the UK will have free access to http://www.supply2.gov.uk/, the Government portal for the advertisement of lower-value (typically below £100,000) contract opportunities, a BIS statement says.
The site is the first major initiative to unite buyers and suppliers in a single location, making it easier for business and government to work together. Searching for lower-value contracts across the UK was previously only available as part of a commercial subscription service, which cost up to £180 per year.
This fee will now be removed, providing firms with better access to public sector contracts to help their businesses grow.
Business Minister Shriti Vadera was quoted as saying: “Small businesses are facing significant pressure in this downturn and new contracts are essential for their return to growth and we want to support them by making it easier to access the thousands of Government procurement opportunities that are directly relevant to them.
“This free service is an interim step along the way to introducing a single website for all public sector contracts next year”, she added.Debasish Sen, Federation of Small Businesses Trade and Industry committee member, said that “making supply2.gov free to access is a first step in the right direction and something the FSB has been pushing for, for a long time”.
According to the statement, since it launched in June 2006, http://www.supply2.gov.uk/ has published more than 132,000 contract notices with many under the value of £100,000 – making them ideally suited to small and medium sized businesses. Over 6,800 public sector buyers have registered including local government, health, education and housing authorities, emergency services and the Olympic Delivery Authority.