Rebecca Wayman

Major government event for SMEs to be held in Newcastle

Hundreds of small business owners are set to gather in Newcastle later this month as part of the government aim’s to level the playing field for companies that supply goods and services to government.

Newcastle City Library is to host the ‘Winning Public Sector Business’ event on Wednesday June 27, with speakers including representatives of major government departments like Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, the Department for Education and the Ministry of Defence.

SMEs - which make up 95 per cent of total UK businesses - will be able to meet government procurement experts and find out what opportunities are on offer, and how they can become part of a supply chain currently worth £12.2bn.

Emma Jones, the Government’s Crown Representative for Small Business, will host the event, which is organised by government commercial staff based in the North East and supported by Crown Commercial Service.

She said: “I’m delighted to be able to host this event in the North East. I’m looking forward to meeting many small businesses in the region who are either selling to government and want to do more or who are thinking of selling to government and want to know more.”

The event will be split into three sessions, limited to 100 delegates each. It begins at 10am and runs until 6.30pm. It is free to attend.

The government has set an aim that 33 per cent of procurement spend should be with small businesses by 2022.

On April 10, 2018, Cabinet Office minister Oliver Dowden announced a package of measures to level the playing field for government suppliers, including a consultation on proposals to exclude suppliers from major government procurements if they cannot demonstrate fair, reliable and effective payment practices with their subcontractors.

Suppliers are also now required to advertise subcontracting opportunities via the Contracts Finder website, and to provide the government with data showing how businesses in their supply chain are benefiting from supplying to central government.

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