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Public sector contract boost for Scottish SMEs

A training scheme to help Scottish SMEs and voluntary sector businesses bid for public sector contracts has been given a £360,000 funding boost, the Scottish Government has announced.

The extra funding for the Supplier Development Programme (SDP) will help an additional 2,200 businesses to bid for and deliver public contracts by expanding their digital capabilities.

A series of events, training opportunities and a new website will help SMEs with digital procurement and transacting electronically with public sector firms.

SMEs currently account for 46% of the estimated £10 billion worth of public sector contracts awarded each year in Scotland.

Scotland's Enterprise Minister, Fergus Ewing, said:

"This new funding for the SPD will play a key role in helping suppliers participate in procurement exercises, and is a great example of public services in Scotland working together to develop our economic capacity."

Andy Willox, Scottish policy convenor at the Federation of Small Businesses, said:

"The FSB wants more Scottish small businesses winning public work. Alongside moves to encourage a more proportional approach from buyers, we warmly welcome extra support to ensure small enterprises deliver polished bids.

"Further, by supporting small Scottish businesses to develop better digital skills, we give them the opportunity to capitalise on the investment the country is making in digital infrastructure. Scottish small businesses, no matter their size or sector, can use information technology to level the playing field with their much larger competitors."