As Australian Government tenders are advertised, small business should be in the driver’s seat for delivery, writes Small Business Minister Michael McCormack.
From modernising our largest Defence bases to the upkeep of Government offices and agencies across the country, there is enormous potential in government procurement for Australian small businesses. And with 2015-16 financial year data released from AusTender, the Coalition Government is backing the bright future for business.
No matter where I go or with whom I meet, the story of small business procurement is the same.
There are billions of dollars in goods and services Australians rely upon the government to provide right across the country, and there are millions of businesses and millions of Australians uniquely placed to help us deliver them.
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When I ran my own small business—a publishing business that started out of my garage in Wagga Wagga—government contracts for communications was what helped put food on our table and my business get its start.
As a minister with almost three years’ experience within portfolios of the Finance, Defence and Treasury Departments, I understand how essential it is to ensure contract and service expenditure is spent wisely.
Though, as a local MP and former small business owner, I know few companies give better bang for their buck and deliver a service second-to-none more so than small business.
That’s why I have made government procurement contracts a focal point of mine as a minister.
Governments need goods and services to keep our agencies open, modern and functional—as well as Defence bases, grounds and other assets cared for appropriately. Education and training is important to maintain the appropriate level of skills to meet expectations of operating in a modern business environment. With every one of these requirements is a contract with the Australian Government and an unparalleled potential for small business.
And the proof is in the pudding when it comes to our procurement.
In the most recent financial year, small businesses won a third of all Australian Government contracts, valued at around $5.5 billion. Whilst the scale and pace of contracts varies across cities and towns, small business took a starring role in contracts valued up to $5 million, with more than two thirds awarded to firms of twenty or fewer employees.
Scattered across our country are the stories of success which makes Australia function. Stories such as Echuca’s Blashki & Sons, which has manufactured regalia for the Australian Defence Force for decades from a vibrant regional community on the Murray. Established in 1858, the family company creates many local jobs and keeps the Australian Government dollar circulating throughout the local economy.
When I visited Blashki recently with my Nationals’ colleagues Damian Drum and Senator Bridget McKenzie, we saw first-hand how this contract creates local jobs, greater opportunities and means small business benefits from our expenditure.
This is a story which is uniquely Australian.
This is the shot-in-the-arm small business deserves. And it’s something I want to help champion.
With every contract, I know small business is capable of delivering. With every contract, I can see the potential for growth, greater investment and more jobs. With every contract, I know small business can ensure Aussie taxpayers get the value for money they deserve.
So take the time to get informed.
Every day there are jobs and opportunities for Aussie small business on AusTender. Every day there is a chance to grow and diversify your small business. Every day there is a chance to keep more Australian Government spending benefiting Australian small business.
All it takes is the click of a button.
Pursue procurement opportunities and you and your small business can star in Australian Government service delivery.