As MSPs return...

FSB demands local firms win more public contracts

Andrew McRae

Andrew McRae: too many small firms lose out to multinationals

Small firms want the Scottish Government to make good on a pledge to ensure local firms win more public contracts as figures show an alarmingly low number securing deals.

Only 5% of the Scottish public sector’s £14 billion procurement budget is spent with firms with fewer than 10 employees even though they account 94% of all businesses in Scotland.

The Federation of Small Businesses says the value of procurement contracts won by smaller firms has been in decline in Scotland since 2016 despite Scottish Government promises to ensure more work is directed to the sector. 

Andrew McRae, FSB’s Scotland policy chairman, said: “Too many small businesses in Scotland lose out to multinationals when it comes to winning public work.

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“Many will have been pleased to see the SNP and Greens agree to change the systems the Scottish public sector uses to buy goods and services. 

“These reforms could make it easier for more locally-based firms to win valuable green contracts.”

In a report published ahead of the First Minister delivering her government’s programme, FSB argues that Holyrood should provide paternity and adoption social security support for self-employed parents, a move they say could encourage more people to set up in business.

Further, FSB says Ministers should take inspiration from New Zealand and the United States by establishing a new small business unit within the Scottish Government.

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