"The UK’s 5.7 million SMEs are the lifeblood of our economy, employing 16 million people and accounting for £1.9 trillion of turnover. "
The government has announced a new 'SME Action Plan' to unlock more opportunities for businesses to bid for and win government contracts.
Under the Plan, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will spend an extra £35 million to level the playing field for SMEs bidding for government procurement contracts.
To help smaller businesses find subcontracting work, the department will also ensure government’s larger suppliers advertise on its Contracts Findersite.
BEIS and its partner agencies currently spend approximately £360 million a year on SMEs.
By 2022, the government says that £1 in every £3 it spends will be with smaller businesses.
Small Business Minister, Kelly Tolhurst, said: "The UK’s 5.7 million SMEs are the lifeblood of our economy, employing 16 million people and accounting for £1.9 trillion of turnover. They work hard, day in and day out, creating jobs, opportunities and greater choice for consumers and helping to keep the UK a great place to start and grow a business.
"That is why this government’s modern Industrial Strategy is fully behind them and we are working, through initiatives like the SME Action Plan, to build a Britain in which they can continue to thrive.
"The SME Action Plan forms an important part of our modern Industrial Strategy to ensure we are doing more to grow the UK’s status as one of the best places in the world to start and grow a business.
"The strategy looks to shape the right environment for business, invest in research, build a workforce with the right skills for industries of the future and seizing new trading opportunities after we leave the EU."