THE ACT Government will give priority to small and medium-sized businesses from surrounding regions when it awards contracts for goods and services, starting from this month.From this month, companies tendering for ACT Government goods and services contracts over $200,000 will be asked if they are a “local small-to-medium enterprise (SME)”, and if not, whether they will subcontract to a local SME.
A “local SME” is a business with up to 200 full-time employees or the equivalent from the South East Regional Organisation of Councils area, which includes the Bombala, Boorowa, Cooma-Monaro, Eurobodalla, Goulburn-Mulwaree, Harden, Palerang, Queanbeyan, Snowy River, Upper Lachlan, Yass Valley and Young councils.
According to the office of Deputy Chief Minister and Treasurer Andrew Barr, tenders which meet the new criteria will be awarded a 5 per cent advantage, which “may be increased to 10 per cent on a case-by-case basis”.
“More than 25,000 businesses operate in the ACT – and the majority are SMEs,” Mr Barr’s statement reads. “As such, supporting them is vital to the ACT economy.”
“ACT Government contracts can be a significant source of work for our private sector, but we acknowledge SMEs can find it challenging to tender for and win government business, which is why we’re giving them a leg up.
“This change will provide a boost to firms in the local region, and make it easier for them to do business with the ACT Government. It will also provide an incentive for suppliers to the ACT Government to engage with regional SMEs.
“It will encourage the creation of Canberra region jobs, and provide a platform for local SMEs to expand their markets and grow their business.”