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Small businesses encouraged to pitch for government contracts

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Small firms are being urged to tender for public sector contracts and to make use of a government website that advertises projects suitable for smaller enterprises.

The website provides an up-to-the-minute database of government contracts for small businesses, and so far 123,000 small firms have signed up.

Examples of public sector buyers already advertising on the site include local government, health, education and housing authorities, emergency services and the Olympic Delivery Authority. On average there are over 3,000 new opportunities each month.

As well as details about the contracts available, the site offers advice on how best to access government work and a free daily email alert notifying firms of new opportunities that are relevant to their business.

Peter Mandelson, the Business Secretary, said: “Every year the government spends many billions of pounds on public sector contracts. It is vital that we actively help small and medium sized companies take advantage of these business opportunities. In the current economic climate this is more important than ever. The website is a crucial tool for this.”

Fiona Campbell, marketing manager, added that the site has been made easier to use and more relevant to business needs.

Ms Campbell said: “A recent refresh to the website in November 2008 has ensured the site is more user-friendly where registrants can benefit from increased information and better navigation.

“A key feature of the service, such as the Daily Email Alert profile, allows suppliers to match their contract search results exactly with their business requirements.”