Some of the local authorities in Wales are now leading the way for SME’s in the UK to grow, according to a new study that was conducted by the FSB (Federation of Small Business). The study discovered that Welsh councils have done the most to emphasize the social value of SME’s over the cost benefits of supporting them when compared to other regions of the UK.
The study included the procurement practices of 148 councils spread out across the UK and took special note of Welsh councils that continued to use community benefit clauses to help underline the social impacts of small business.
The study also found that local authorities in Wales are much more likely to spend their funds within their own boundaries, to record how much they spend on SME’s, and to record how much they spend locally period.
Despite the fact that some councils are managing to progress with procurement policies, the FSB stated that a large amount of work still needs to be done in order to make sure that all barriers to procurement with SME’s are eradicated in the future so that it is never an issue again.
The research found that overall the Welsh councils spend more along with SMEs although they do spend less than in Northern Ireland where a totalof71% of procurement pound is dedicated to SME’s compared with the 51% found in Scotland and the 61% in Wales.
The study also found that a third of the Welsh councils do not utilise different processes for choosing their contracts and another half does not properly record the amount that they spend on their SME’s. This makes it harder for smaller contracts to be put out there and taken advantage of by small businesses.