Billions of government dollars going to small and medium businesses
Small and medium businesses are front and centre of the NSW Government’s focus when it comes to ensuring they get a larger share of the procurement pie.
New figures reveal the Government spent around $34 billion on goods, services and construction in 2020/21, with almost $8 billion spent with SMEs over the financial year.
The new data comes after the Government enhanced the way suppliers were classified, resulting in a more accurate and transparent snapshot of how it supported small and medium businesses.
Minister for Finance and Employee Relations Damien Tudehope said the 2020/21 data showed more than 49,000 SMEs were engaged in government procurement contracts.
“Small businesses have experienced one of their most challenging periods ever – whether it was enduring droughts, floods, bushfires, COVID and a mouse plague, they have shown their resilience and strength. This is why we need to get it right when it comes to supporting them,” Mr Tudehope said.
“By generally excluding subsidiaries of multinationals, joint ventures and special purpose vehicles, this data provides a clearer picture on how many SMEs are engaging with Government and through this process of refinement, we are ensuring we can better understand the true impact of how our policies are benefiting SMEs.”
The NSW Government is committed to increasing opportunities with SME businesses to access government work, with measures in place including:
- The SME and Regional Procurement Policy which allows agencies to buy goods and services directly from an SME or regional supplier for all procurements up to $150,000.
- Business Connect, which offers independent business advice to help small businesses build their capability to supply to the government.
- Tender Support Program, which is providing online courses through TAFE and a written guide to help small businesses learn how to tender for NSW Government contracts.
- Aboriginal Procurement Policy, which aims to deliver increased opportunities for Aboriginal businesses, which also benefit from the SME & Regional Procurement Policy, to secure NSW Government work.
- A small business exemption for government agencies to purchase construction services valued up to $50,000 directly from a small business, even where there is a whole of government arrangement in place.
“It’s important they have access to Government work opportunities and we need to try harder when it comes to making sure they’re at the top of the list when we’re considering which suppliers to engage,” Mr Tudehope said.
Minister for Small Business Eleni Petinos said the data is a powerful reminder of the pivotal role played by SMEs in NSW’s economy.
“Small businesses are the engine room of our economy and the lifeblood of so many communities, which is why we are committed to awarding more contracts to them,” Ms Petinos said.
“We want to make it easier for SMEs to work with the government and have taken steps to save them time, including creating the NSW Supplier Hub to ensure suppliers can be easily found, requiring faster payments for goods and services, and implementing e-invoicing.
“Our message to SMEs is clear – we want to ensure you receive a fairer share of procurement spend, so you can continue to deliver critical services and support local jobs.”
Businesses can register and search for opportunities to supply to the NSW Government on the buy.nsw website.
More information on the Tender Support Program is available on the Small Business Commissioner website.