Small firms lose on defence

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Small firms are calling for a complete overhaul of how the Ministry of Defence engages with them, in order to save the UK taxpayer money and improve service for the Armed Forces.

The call comes from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), which says there are 9,000 small firms operating in the defence sector, yet 90 per cent of the UK’s defence exports are won by the 20 largest UK companies.

Sheffield businessman and FSB regional chairman Gordon Millward said: “The Government has put the private sector and exporting at the heart of its plans for economic recovery. With the UK being the second largest defence exporter in the world, and with 9,000 small businesses operating in this sector in the UK alone, facilitating small business access to this sector should be top of the Government’s agenda.

“There is however, a justified feeling among small firms that the MoD either does not recognise or understand the small business community – despite rhetoric to the contrary.

“It is obvious that small businesses are still placed at a significant disadvantage, compared to their prime competitors.”

The FSB is calling for the MoD to open up a dedicated channel of communication with small firms.