Mark Prisk unveils measures to help small and medium sized businesses

The government has announced a package of measures aimed at helping small and medium sized businesses.

Mark Prisk, minister for business and enterprise, outlined the actions which include the goal to award a quarter of government contracts to SMEs and to remove barriers that prevent small businesses accessing government contracts.

From December 2010 a standardised pre-qualification questionnaire will become mandatory across central government.

The government has also said it will continue with the Enterprise Finance Guarantee for the next four years, which makes funding available to small companies without a credit history or collateral.

It has also committed a further £200m to the Enterprise Capital Funds which support equity investments in high growth potential businesses.

Prisk said: “As a former small business owner I know how important our SMEs are to the growth of this country. I entered government with the goal of making this the most entrepreneurial decade in our history and I’m confident today’s announcements will help make that a reality.”