What is net zero?

With COP26 on the horizon, the goal of net zero and reducing carbon emissions has been pushed further into the spotlight.

On 12 June 2019, the UK Government amended the Climate Change Act to introduce a target of a 100% reduction in net greenhouse gas emissions in the UK by 2050, compared to 1990 levels.

The momentum has continued with adverse weather events becoming more widely experienced. In April this year the sixth Carbon Budget set into law the climate change target to reduce UK emissions by 78% by 2035, compared to 1990 levels.

Tackling climate change is a huge issue, but SMEs can make a contribution to the UK’s targets by implementing small changes and improving sustainability.

Why does it matter to you?

In June this year, a new National Procurement Policy was released which stated that all public sector buyers must consider social value outcomes in their procurement exercises, alongside additional priorities including:

  • Creating new businesses, new jobs and new skills in the UK
  • Improving supplier diversity
  • Tackling climate change and reducing waste

With the pressure on public sector buyers and larger businesses to improve their green credentials, they will soon be looking to their supply chain to help them meet these challenging targets.

By starting now, you will give yourself an advantage and get ahead of your competitors. Appoint a green champion and learn what changes you can make. Government and business organisations such as the FSB provide help to make your business more sustainable.

Supply to Government

From cleaning contracts to construction contracts, the public sector wants to buy from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as they provide value for money, innovation and economic benefits. With the UK Government committing to 33% of procurement spend by value going to the growth of SMEs, now is the time to enter the public sector supply chain.

Government spends some £285 billion on public procurement every year. This huge marketplace requires suppliers across all business sectors – from cleaning to catering, furniture to fencing, and building to boilers, central and local government contracts are plentiful, with many contracts suitable for SMEs.

Top 10 Tips:

  1. Put a plan in place now – having a track record will give your tender credibility.
  2. Implement a green policy – small changes such as reducing printing, turning off computers and holding online meetings all make a difference.
  3. Have green premises – turning lights off, turning down heating and using eco-technologies will not only improve your bid, but also help your bottom line.
  4. Deliveries – consider using electric vehicles or consolidating deliveries to lessen carbon emissions.
  5. Consider your company’s culture – can you start a cycle to work scheme? Do you use single-use plastic cups?
  6. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle your waste – or can someone else make use of it?
  7. Customers are demanding more green solutions and technologies – can your company provide the innovations needed?
  8. Consider your supply chain – what are they doing to become more sustainable?
  9. Measure your carbon footprint – there are many advice services that will help you understand where improvements can be made.

Supply2Gov aims to keep you up to date with all the public sector and supply chain contract information that you need to successfully grow your business. By registering with us, you’ll take your first step towards finding new business opportunities for your organisation. Registration also gives you access to the UK and Ireland’s largest public sector contracts database. 

Register now.

The public sector supply chain – what you need to know 

Government spends some £285 billion on public procurement every year. This huge marketplace requires suppliers across all business sectors – from cleaning contracts to catering, furniture to fencing, and building to boilers, central and local government contracts are plentiful, with many contracts suitable for SMEs. 

National Procurement Policy Statement (NPPS) 

The Government has recently released a new National Procurement Policy Statement. 

The NPPS requires contracting authorities to consider social value outcomes in their procurement exercises, alongside additional priorities including: 

  • Creating new businesses, new jobs and new skills in the UK 
  • Improving supplier diversity 
  • Tackling climate change and reducing waste 

What does social value mean? 

Government wants to ensure public procurement enhances social value for communities. How can this be achieved? 

  • By generating economic growth 
  • By creating new jobs and skills designed to support the growth of SMEs 
  • By increasing job opportunities 
  • By contributing to government targets of hitting net zero by 2050 and reducing waste 
  • By supporting start-ups, SMEs and voluntary, charitable and social enterprises  
  • By increasing innovation and technology through the supply chain 

Why does this matter to you (and all other government suppliers)? 

Adding social value to your tender bids helps you stand out from your competitors, and helps local authorities and government hit their targets. 

What you can do to add social value to your tender 

  • Prepare yourself. What are the challenges facing the authority, and how can you help them achieve their objectives? 
  • Look at local environmental policy. How you can help the authority to meet their goals?  
  • What can be done within the scope of the contract to add social value? 
  • Look at what your competitors are doing. What are their policies? 
  • Look at Corporate Responsibility Checklists. What are you already doing which you could include in your bid? 

Top Tip 

Make a start now. A track record looks better on a tender and you won’t be struggling to backfill your policy when you write your bid. 

What should you be doing first to get ready for these changes? 

Prepare: Business intelligence is key, so be ready for opportunities. Supply2Gov can provide you with the insight you need, ahead of the competition. 

Engage: Supplier engagement is about introducing innovation into the supply chain, as well as improving productivity and outcomes.  

Learn: Procurement advice services can help you build your bid with strong social value benefits. 

Remember, Supply2Gov is here to help you with business intelligence and expert advice on growing your business.  

Supply2Gov aims to keep you up to date with all the public sector and supply chain contract information that you need to successfully grow your business. By registering with us, you’ll take your first step towards finding new business opportunities for your organisation. Registration also gives you access to the UK and Ireland’s largest public sector contracts database. 

Register now.

Construction is suffering from a shortage of both materials and workers, as the industry recovers from the pandemic.

Figures from the ONS and PMI show that while construction is one of the fastest-growing industries following on from 2020’s shutdown, a lack of materials and workers to implement jobs is holding back growth.

  • Construction output fell 0.8% in May 2021
  • 0.7% monthly decline in April 2021.
  • These recent declines in monthly growths, follow exceptionally strong growth in February and March 2021 (3.7% and 4.7%) respectively.

What’s happening?

For a number of months, the CLC has been warning of materials shortages, with its latest statement confirming the crisis. Brexit pressures have added to the problem, with the industry relying on imports for a number of crucial products.

The latest CLC statement confirms: “Timber, roof tiles and some steel products continue to be in short supply, as is bagged cement which may have been impacted by some manufacturers undertaking overdue preventative maintenance.

“Paints, sealants and chemical products continue to be affected by raw material shortages, with paints additionally affected by a shortage of packaging, particularly metal cans. The situation with insulation boards has also become tighter, with PIR becoming harder to obtain and contractors actively seeking alternatives.

“Plasterboard has been subject to extended lead times with one major manufacturer indicating their products going on allocation. Some regions are also reporting delayed deliveries of bricks and blocks.

“Electrical products have been affected by raw material shortages, particularly steel products and semi-conductors, since Autumn 2020.”

How it’s affecting the public sector

With a strong pipeline and commitments to many projects across the public sector and growth in the private sector, a materials shortage could halt work in its tracks.

This has been coupled with the latest statement on labour supply from the ONS. The current demand for construction workers is at a near 20-year high, with 33,000 job vacancies in the sector. The skills crisis in construction has been discussed for a long time, and the industry is still struggling to bring young people into the sector. Together with Brexit pressures on the industry, there is a huge gap in personnel available to implement projects.

How you can take advantage

Latest market information tells us that there are many opportunities for SMEs across the public sector. Local Government continues as the most active sector, followed by Central Government and Education.

Market activity between 5 and 11 July shows that 35% of contracts published were for less than £100,000 – clearly indicating a continued opportunity for SMEs throughout the public sector.

Activity also suggests there is a strong future pipeline for public sector work, meaning a huge opportunity for construction suppliers – so register with S2G to keep your eye on upcoming opportunities.

If you’ve never worked with the public sector before, now is the time to get into the market. Register for free to gain access to our “Ready to Tender Checklist”, which will help you cover all bases when it comes to public sector procurement.

Green infrastructure was a hot topic for the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, at the last budget announcement.

We reveal the government’s latest plans and initiatives for the area below.


Budget 2021

There were several green initiatives announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in the Budget.

Last week he announcement that the new UK Infrastructure Bank will open in Leeds with £12 billion capitalisation from the Government. The Bank will aim to fund £40 billion worth of projects.

Mr Sunak also reiterated the need for a commitment to green investment and confirmed that green projects will be funded through a green recovery bond.

He said:

“Our future economy needs investment in green industries across the United Kingdom. So I can announce today the first ever UK Infrastructure Bank.

Located in Leeds, the Bank will invest across the United Kingdom in public and private projects to finance the green industrial revolution.

Beginning this spring, it will have an initial capitalisation of £12 billion and we expect it to support at least £40 billion of total investment in infrastructure.”

The Chancellor also announced £20 million to fund UK-wide competition to develop floating offshore wind demonstrators and help support the Government’s aim to generate enough electricity from offshore wind to power every home by 2030.

Other commitments to support green initiatives included a £68 million fund for a UK-wide competition to deliver first-of-its-kind long-duration energy storage prototypes which will reduce the cost of net zero by storing excess low carbon energy over longer periods.


Are your ready to tender for green contracts?

The public sector wants to work with suppliers that conduct their business in a way that is ethical. When evaluating a tender, they will consider the environmental impact made by the applicant.

Have a think about your business’s CSR policy and make sure that you are including details about it within your tender.

Once you have done so, register for free to gain access to our “Ready to Tender Checklist”, which will help you cover all bases when it comes to public sector procurement.


The UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak delivered his 2021 budget to the House of Commons on 3 March.

If you are unsure what the latest UK Budget means for SMEs, we explore the number of measures that have been put in place to directly support small businesses.


Help to grow scheme

Mr Sunak announced that small businesses in the UK will be given support from the government to boost their software and training under a Help to Grow scheme.

During the announcement he said:

“First, Help to Grow: Management will help tens of thousands of small and medium sized businesses get world-class management training.

Dozens of business schools across the United Kingdom will offer a new executive development programme with mentoring and peer learning, and government will contribute 90% of the cost…

Second, Help to Grow: Digital.

With the pandemic, many businesses have moved online. This has been a challenge. But we want to turn it into an opportunity.

We’re going to help small businesses develop digital skills by giving them free expert training and a 50% discount on new productivity-enhancing software, worth up to £5,000 each.”

It has been confirmed that both programmes will commence by the autumn. Any interested businesses can register now on Gov.UK/HelpToGrow.


The business rates holiday has been extended

The Chancellor announced that the business rates holiday will continue until the end of June 2021. After that, business rates will be discounted.

Wales and Scotland have already announced business holidays. In Scotland, the business rates holiday will cover retail, hospitality, leisure, and aviation businesses in 2021-22. In Wales this will cover hospitality and leisure businesses.

The VAT cut to five per cent for hospitality and tourism businesses will also remain until September. After that, it’ll increase to 12.5 per cent, before returning to 20 per cent in April 2022.


Furlough extension

The Chancellor also announced the extension of the employees furlough scheme.

Since the beginning of the pandemic more than11 million people have had their wages covered by furlough scheme. Making the announcement, Mr Sunak said:

“Our COVID support schemes have been a lifeline to millions, protecting jobs and incomes across the UK.

“There’s now light at the end of the tunnel with a roadmap for reopening, so it’s only right that we continue to help business and individuals through the challenging months ahead – and beyond.”


Small business? Win big

On average the UK public sector spends around £284 billion on goods and services in the process we know as procurement. In recent years has encouraged small businesses to seek opportunities, as aims to spend £1 in every £3 with SMEs, directly or through the supply chain, by 2022.

At Supply2Gov we help new and existing suppliers find contracts that are right for their business, to help them grow in this lucrative market.

Sign up to Supply2Gov tender alerts, and start receiving tender opportunities straight to your inbox. You will gain access to one free geographical location of your choice to help get you started.

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The public sector can be challenging to do business with, simply due to the size and complexity of the market.

We breakdown the marketplace below and highlight five key areas your business can with big with in 2021.



Education covers everything from nurseries to universities, meaning that the sector has wide-ranging requirements, which offer opportunities to businesses of all sizes in almost all industry sectors.

Education was also one of the areas of the public sector most affected by the lockdown, when all education establishments closed, and education had to be delivered in a new, virtual way.

With the UK’s lockdown situation everchanging, the education sector should be on your watch list for 2021.


Construction & Infrastructure

Market Intelligence expert Glenigan predicts that by 2022, the value of underlying starts is forecast to total £49.3 billion, just 3% below 2019 levels.

The UK construction sector is one to watch as it is recovering well from the COVID-19 pandemic and challenges from Brexit.

Market intelligence expert Glenigan says:

“Greater public sector investment is expected to be a major driver for construction growth over the next two years, although the immediate priority of tackling the pandemic and the deferral of the Spending Review to later in 2021 are likely to temper the increase in government capital funding.”



The UK government has allocated “£3 billion to support NHS recovery, allowing them to carry out up to a million checks, scans and operations.”

During the government’s Spending Review, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak promised to deliver on the priorities of the British people and noted during his speech that the 2020 Spending Review honours the government’s historic, multi-year commitment to the NHS. He said:

“Next year, the core health budget will grow by £6.6 billion, allowing us to deliver 50,000 more nurses and 50 million more general practice appointments.”



The defence marketplace is booming.

The UK already spends 2% of its annual GDP on defence, the recommended minimum for NATO membership, however, in the latest announcement Mr Johnson revealed that the UK will be raising its percentage to at least 2.2 per cent, exceeding the NATO pledge.

In 2020 the Prime Minister announced the country’s largest increase in its defence budget since the end of the Cold War. During his speech, he said that the government’s defence plans:

“will safeguard hundreds of thousands of jobs in the defence industry, protecting livelihoods across the UK and keeping the British people safe.”

For more information about the defence sector visit Supply2Defence.


Find UK tenders

The economy is predicted grow by 5.5% this year and 6.6% in 2022, do not miss out on public sector opportunities.

If you would like to find UK tenders that are relevant to your business in 2020? Supply2Gov offers a tender alerts service with no strings attached.

New users can sign up for a local area subscription for free and can opt to upgrade to our UK-wide package at any point.

For more information on our packages, get started.




As the NHS welcomes 2021 it faces great challenges ahead. Covid-19, a rising population, the integration of advanced technology and machinery into healthcare, support for medical research and the drive to secure improvements in patient care will continue to be key areas affecting performance.

It is important that new suppliers to the NHS are aware of all these factors. If you want to find and win NHS tenders in 2021, Supply2Gov can help.


NHS procurement – what you need to know

The NHS operates through different models in the UK under NHS England, NHS Scotland, NHS Wales and NHS Northern Ireland. Currently, the NHS:

  • Accounts for around 80% of all healthcare spending in the UK
  • Is free to use for people who have lived in the UK for at least six months
  • Is the fifth largest employer in the world, with over 1.5 million employees
  • Deals with over one million patients every 36 hours
  • Is supported by UK health expenditure

The health service is therefore an attractive buyer for businesses of all shapes, sizes and specialisms. Every year, the NHS spends about £27 billion on procuring goods, works and services. That statistic indicates the sheer size of the NHS and the volume of public sector healthcare tenders available.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic is of course increasing. The Spending Review in November 2020 allocated “£3 billion to support NHS recovery, allowing them to carry out up to a million checks, scans and operations.” Chancellor of the Exchecher, Rishi Sunak promised to deliver on the priorities of the British people and the NHS with a historic, multi-year commitment to the NHS. He said:

“Next year, the core health budget will grow by £6.6 billion, allowing us to deliver 50,000 more nurses and 50 million more general practice appointments.”

That said, the NHS is constantly looking for new suppliers which can help solve the many complex problems the organisation faces.

Benefits of working with the NHS

There are numerous reasons why supplying to the NHS should appeal to private sector businesses. Winning NHS contracts comes with a great number of benefits, including:

  • Gain credibility and get the references your business needs to win wider work
  • High quantity and quality business opportunities
  • The Government’s ‘Prompt Payment’ policy means that 80% of all invoices submitted by suppliers to the public sector are paid within five days, with the rest being paid within 30 days
  • Opportunity to forge innovative and collaborative strategies in procurement, to solve the complex challenges the NHS faces

The NHS is an amazingly versatile buyer to work with. The organisation’s demand for services and solutions of all kinds is constant, which is great news for suppliers looking to work with a reputable UK authority whose requirements span all industry sectors.

Win NHS tenders in 2021

How can Supply2Gov help? 

Supply2Gov’s portal is powered by the UK’s largest database of health sector tenders. If your micro or small business wants to grow its client base and work with the NHS, find more opportunities with Supply2Gov.

We can help you get started by sending you NHS tenders straight to your inbox, for free. We offer all new users access to a local area of their choice.

Never miss an NHS tender opportunity again.

Get started for free

No more excuses – make sure that you are actively looking for tenders in 2021!

Our focus as always is to help you to learn the basics of Government tendering, whilst finding every unique opportunity possible.

It may sound like a cliché, but setting a goal at the beginning of the year will make you more motivated and you could end the year winning more contracts than ever before.

Read our list of New Year’s resolutions for businesses new to Government tendering below…

Improve Productivity

Whether you are a sole trader or the owner of a limited company that has been running for decades, this is a goal that every business should take into 2021.

It’s important that you have planned and prepared for the year ahead and, if you want to get started in public sector procurement, have key documentation ready and in place. This will help you to bid for opportunities more efficiently and effectively.

Highlight Your Achievements

Do not be afraid to blow your own trumpet. If you want to grow your business, make sure that you are highlighting your professional achievements.

When you are bidding for work with the public sector, you should always demonstrate how you have helped clients in the past. This will help you to sell your goods and services as it shows public sector buyers that you are both capable and experienced.

Ask for feedback

If you haven’t won work with the public sector in 2019, then why not?

Go into 2021 asking buyers why you have been unsuccessful. Public sector bodies are obliged to provide you with feedback within 15 days of your request.

Next time you find work that is relevant to your business, you will feel better prepared, and acting on feedback eliminates the chance that you may make the same mistake again.

Embrace technology

The days are long gone when a business would search for opportunities in the local newspaper. Embrace technology and halve the manual work that you are currently undertaking.

Technology is moving UK businesses forward; procurement portals like Supply2Gov can help you to find opportunities relevant to your business in specific regions. A quick and easy way to find new opportunities.

Learn about procurement

If you are new to the public sector marketplace, it will be worth your while to attend training and events in 2021.

Our parent company BiP Solutions host various events UK wide that give delegates the opportunity to attend training and networking sessions where you can learn first hand from procurement professionals. Click here to view the events calendar.

If you would prefer intensive learning, you can also book a one-day “Introduction to Procurement” course with PASS Procurement. This would be extremely valuable to enhance your knowledge of the public sector procurement process.

All Supply2Gov annual tender alert subscribers receive free tickets and discounts for events and training through their Business Growth Programme.

Whatever way you choose to learn, you can stay up to date on the Supply2Gov website. Simply visit our resources section for all the latest procurement news for micro and small businesses.

New Year, new business

Try something new in 2021. Start with a local area subscription and you can choose to expand your subscription as your business grows.

You can sign up to Supply2Gov today for free. Start looking for tenders without paying anything at all. FREE areas include Inner London – East, Greater Manchester – South, Glasgow City and Outer Belfast.

Register Now

It’s been quite a year for procurement.

The rapidly changing nature of the COVID-19 outbreak has left many SMEs feeling uncertain about their future, but what we can be sure of is the power of public sector procurement.

Procurement now, more than ever, is a crucial factor in bringing communities together and helping people lead better lives through innovative public spending. Here, Supply2Gov takes a closer look at the themes to look out for in 2021 and the years to come.

Social value takes centre stage

Social value isn’t a new development by any means. Public sector organisations are continually looking for new ways to make procurement more ethical. Procurement is moving away from being simply a single transaction between a buyer and a supplier. Instead, new initiatives are being introduced which help support the wider community procurement projects are located in, so that both the area and the people living and working within it continue to benefit long after the project has finished. Examples of social value initiatives that suppliers can contribute to are:

  • Offering guaranteed working hours
  • Paying the living wage
  • Providing enhanced training opportunities
  • Boosting qualifications
  • Using locally sourced materials

Contracting authorities can help grow social value by awarding contracts to suppliers who demonstrate fair practices, like the above. When procurement is promoting great social value, it can increase youth employment and help young people gain qualifications for the future. In 2021 and the years to follow, social value will continue to play a massive part in how procurement evolves for the better, and for the benefit of everyone.

Cyber security continues to change the modern world

We are all aware that the world is becoming more and more digital, and mass digitalisation has meant that everything is moving at lightning fast speed – businesses, entertainment, new trends and new products. Through the invention of the internet and smartphones, we now have access to millions of data at our fingertips, all the time. This level of accessibility means that it is relatively easy for cyber attackers to break into private networks and access confidential data, including credit card information, medical records and other personal information.

In recent years, businesses have begun implementing cyber security measures to protect themselves and their data, and recent GDPR legislation in Europe has also meant that businesses have been forced to rethink how they use and store their data. However, cyber security is now about much more than viruses and malware, as cyber crime continues to present in different forms across different devices. The artificial intelligence that is developed to detect security breaches by scanning millions of data files and checking for anomalies will soon be able to leak cyber security breaches of its own. This is a prediction that is reflected in the opinions of cyber security leaders around the world.

In response to this, we predict organisations of all sizes across all sectors will invest in training their staff on how to better spot cyber attacks and consequently deal with them. If you haven’t done so already, make sure your business is protected from over 80% of basic cyber attacks with quick and simple Cyber Essentials certification.

More businesses move to eProcurement

For a large number of organisations in the UK, procurement today is a far cry from the paper-based processes and manual searches of the early 2000s. eProcurement is becoming increasingly popular among buyers and suppliers alike – offering a web-based solution where organisations can manage their tenders, bids and documentation without wasting paper and time. However, a recent report by Ivalua has revealed that two-thirds of UK businesses are still reliant on manual and paper-based procurement processes. This is estimated to cost UK businesses on average around £1.94 million a year.

In 2021, we predict more organisations will adopt eProcurement solutions, for more effective and efficient procurement. Receiving Supply2Gov tender alerts sent direct to your inbox is just one example of fantastic eProcurement in action.

Increased public spending

The UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak delivered his Spending Review to the House of Commons on 25 November 2020.

The Chancellor’s Executive Summary outlined the state of the UK economy and gave the latest forecasts for the UK’s public finances. The summary states that the:

“Spending Review 2020 (SR20) prioritises funding to support the government’s response to Covid-19, invest in the UK’s recovery and deliver on promises to the British people. It sets departmental budgets for 2021-22 and devolved administrations’ block grants for the same period, confirming that core day-to-day spending – that is, before taking into account Covid-19 spending – will grow at an average of 3.8 per cent a year in real terms from 2019-20 to 2021-22. This is the fastest rate in 15 years.”

The speech made clear that the public sector is very much open for business. Further investment in public services will boost tender opportunities throughout the UK, providing openings for innovative new suppliers across a range of sectors.

Find more tender opportunities in the UK

Get 2021 off to the best start possible. Sign up to Supply2Gov’s tender alerts for free and start receiving daily tender alerts to any local area in the UK.

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