How can procurement strategy support small business?

With more major buyers incorporating efforts to support small or local businesses into their plans, how can procurement teams and technology support SMEs?

After recent news that a record breaking $163bn in federal procurement opportunities in the USA went to small businesses, what more can be done to support SMEs? 

Small business procurement support strategies 

The US Small Business Association reported the Biden-Harris Administration exceeded their small business contracting goal of 23% in the 2022 financial year, awarding a record high 26.5% of federal contract dollars to small businesses.

This is an $8.7bn increase on the previous fiscal year, with a total of $162.9bn in investment in the small business economy.  

“Through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, we have championed initiatives to fuel our nation’s historic economic growth while reducing barriers and ensuring fair competition in federal contracting,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman . “The Biden Administration continues to raise the bar, reaching a record high level of contract spending with small businesses, supporting over one million good-paying jobs in manufacturing, construction, research & development, and other vital industries.”

Other recent examples include the ‘Buy Queensland’ approach adopted ahead of the 2032 Brisbane Olympics. An estimated $180bn in Government procurement contracts are expected to be handed to regional businesses in the build up.

The document not only promotes the use of local suppliers, but also sets targets for the use of smaller businesses and those with clear plans for lowering emissions.

The Olympics and Paralympic games presents opportunities across a range of sectors including infrastructure, new housing, essential goods and services and technology solutions.

"I have always said that all of Queensland will share the pride of hosting the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games. That includes Queensland businesses,” said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk 

"Buy Queensland prioritises Queensland businesses for government contracts – it's been a massive success since it was first adopted by our great sporting state in 2017.  This procurement approach multiplies the value of government spending and ensures the benefits are shared among Queenslanders.”

"The Q2032 Procurement Strategy means we'll give priority to firms that employ Queenslanders, companies that invest in our State and our people, and those which use local materials and produce, to help keep Queensland on the winner's podium,” said Public Works Minister, Mick de Brenni.

Procurement technology to help small enterprises

The use of modern procurement technology and automated tools can also give smaller businesses a competitive advantage and assist in their growth.

A recent example is Settle who have announced a new purchasing suite designed specifically for founders of e-commerce businesses, with a suite of tools automating back-office tasks like bill pay, purchase order creation, auditing, and reporting.

"The current economic climate and supply chain uncertainty have made frictionless procurement and purchasing more critical than ever to the survival of a small e-commerce business," said Alek Koenig, CEO, Settle. "The problem is most solutions that claim to solve this problem are built for enterprises, cutting out smaller, resource-constrained businesses. As a result, all of the office work involved is done manually, which creates room for delays and errors. Our new solution aims to level the playing field for these smaller players by giving them enterprise-grade purchasing and procurement capabilities at SMB pricing. This aligns with our vision of helping founders save time, reduce risk, and ultimately focus on what matters most: growing their businesses."


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