The Cabinet Office released new government procurement measures at the start of April 2019 that will benefit smaller businesses moving forward.

The new rules aim to “level the playing field for small businesses” as central government plans to settle 90% of its undisputed invoices from SMEs within a five-day period.

Big businesses must adhere to prompt payment rules

The UK Government has sent letters to more than 10,000 businesses, including its strategic suppliers. The communication warns bigger businesses about the new rules which will be introduced around prompt payments to their suppliers. Minister for Implementation Oliver Dowden has urged these businesses to “clean up their act” or they may miss out on future government tenders. He said:

“Prompt payment is critical for all companies helping to deliver public services, particularly small businesses which are the backbone of our economy.”

Room for small businesses to “grow and thrive”

The latest measure is just one example of how Government ministers are encouraging SMEs to work with them as they aspire to spend £1 in every £3 with SMEs by 2022.

In reaction to the new measures, Francis Toye, Managing Director of Unilink Software Ltd, a formerly small and now medium-sized UK business, commented:

“These efforts to improve payment times are really important and will help small business in the UK grow and thrive. I applaud the Government for taking these steps to improve prompt payment and hope all companies, including large businesses, will follow their example.”

Find government procurement opportunities

The Government is making progress with its aspirations to make public sector procurement more attractive to SME suppliers. If you are interested in finding opportunities, start for free with Supply2Gov.

Our Tender Alerts tool makes it easy for procurement beginners, and all new users can sign up for a free local area subscription.

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Earth Day is on 22 April, and to celebrate we have written about current trends in environmental consultancy.

Research from Environment Analyst has revealed that the UK’s environmental consulting market will continue to grow despite uncertainties around Brexit.

Infrastructure opportunities, increased public sector spend and more effective management structures are considered to be the catalyst for this continued healthy organic growth.

The environmental consultancy market is predicted to hit over £2 billion by 2022.

What type of opportunities have arisen?

Figures collated by show continued growth since 2010.

Suppliers operating in the environmental consulting sector have benefited from a range of public sector infrastructure renewal programmes in recent years. A number of these opportunities have come from the development of HS2 and the Highways England project.

The Chancellor’s 2019 Spring Statement included many commitments to the environment, with Mr Hammond stating that the Government “are addressing the environmental challenges that threaten our planet”.

Small and medium-sized enterprises account for 99% of UK businesses; however, it was revealed that the majority have a “very low awareness” of the benefits that come with energy efficiency. To tackle this the Government are considering three possible ways to support SMEs improve their energy efficiency by at least 20% by 2030.

Find opportunities

Are you looking for opportunities in environmental consultancy? With the Government investing heavily in this area now is the time to optimise your tender search strategy. View our

Be more efficient with Supply2Gov. Our Tender Alerts tool sends opportunities straight to your inbox as soon as they become available – meaning you will never miss a tender in the environmental services sector again.

Get started for free by choosing the local area of your choice with Supply2Gov.

The recent “Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2019”, released by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, helps UK businesses “understand the nature and significance of the cyber security threats they face.”

The latest survey dedicated a section to government cyber security initiatives and accreditations, asking participants to rate their awareness of government guidance in this area.

Figures from micro and small businesses were shockingly low in comparison to larger firms. Learn more about the latest findings below.

How aware are micro and small businesses of Cyber Essentials?

The survey, which is released annually, has revealed that only 8% of micro businesses have heard of the Government’s Cyber Essentials scheme. Rankings from the report can be seen below:

  • Micro firms 8%
  • Small firms 19%
  • Medium firms 27%
  • Large firms 46%

Cyber Essentials certification protects businesses from around 80% of basic cyber threats and enables organisations to achieve what the government deems as “a good-practice standard in cyber security”.

This is incredibly important when bidding for work with the public sector as some government contracts require Cyber Essentials certification.

Worryingly, the report stated that micro businesses are the least likely to seek cyber security information or guidance with only 56% doing so in the past twelve months, compared to 74% of medium-sized firms.

How to gain certification

The Government claims that “cyber attacks are a persistent threat to businesses and charities”, which suggests it may be time to implement the key controls outlined by Cyber Essentials.

To get started with Cyber Essentials, your business must complete a self-assessment questionnaire, which you can download on the Cyber Essentials Online website.

This questionnaire assesses whether the business has taken the necessary measures needed for it to defend itself against the most common forms of cyber attack and from there you can make any changes necessary needed before achieving certification.

Would you like to learn more? Visit our Cyber Essentials page…

no deal brexit

As the political and legal situation around Brexit remains dynamic, the possibility of the UK leaving the European Union without a negotiated Withdrawal Agreement – a ‘no-deal Brexit’ – still exists. Until an alternative is legally formalised by both the UK and the remaining EU Member States, the current default position is for the UK to leave the EU without a deal.

Many businesses will have questions around the possible implications of a ‘no-deal Brexit’ and how they can prepare for this eventuality. Therefore, drawing on our 35 years of procurement experience, our parent company BiP Solutions is pleased to announce the publication of our new factsheet, ‘Procurement after “no deal”: What buyers and suppliers need to know about preparing for a “no deal Brexit” scenario.’

The seven-page document sets out clearly and simply the key questions that both buyers and suppliers are likely to have around the possibility of ‘no deal’ – and the current guidance that exists in these areas. The factsheet answers such questions as:

  • Where will public sector organisations publish tender notices if there is a ‘no deal Brexit’?
  • How might the procurement process change, and what will the effect be for supply chains?
  • Where will suppliers be able to find tender opportunities?
  • What steps will businesses need to take to continue to supply services to EU Member States?

Download your copy of the factsheet here.*

To view the latest procurement news and updates, visit BiP Solutions’ dedicated news and Brexit pages.

*Updates will follow to reflect the changing situation.