The Government must help small and micro businesses properly

Small BusinessToday is #MicroBizMatters day and it is a day intended to raise the profile of Small and Micro Businesses. The Micro Business definition is 1-9 employees and a turnover of up to £2m and the Small Business definition is 10-49 employees and a turnover of up to £10m. The day comes in the same week when the Government has been referring to Seaborne Freight as an example of a business that is a small business and it is one they claim they have supported because they believe in small businesses unlike Labour. These claims are unfortunately based on pure party politics. Small and Micro Businesses want to win contracts, but in order for them to do so the criteria must be made public and be clearly set out and it is vital that businesses are paid for the work they do. The contract awarded to Seaborne was not done under a competitive tender or quotation basis which means that other small businesses were denied access to it, despite the claims by the Government. In fact it was awarded under the Negotiated Procurement Procedure without prior publication as allowed for under Regulation 32 of the Public Contracts Regulations which depends on there being an unforeseen events that cause great urgency to the nation. It is clear that there is no such lack of preparation and furthermore the Government in their discussions on Tuesday made it clear that the small business which will need to dredge Ramsgate will not be paid unless the ferries do travel. Indeed a local MP claimed that taxpayers would not have paid for any of the work if a No Deal Brexit is not the outcome. This suggests that a small business will need to absorb the costs. It seems vital that the Government admits their failings and guarantees not only that they will not use Regulation 32 again without evidence of its need, but also that small businesses are not expected to absorb such a cost!

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
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