Labour would favour SMEs

HAMISH RUTHERFORD
Last updated 12:04 05/08/2014

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A Labour government will force government departments to do more business with small New Zealand companies, the party says.

Leader David Cunliffe and small-business spokesman David Clark today announced plans to setthe public sector a target of allocating $300 million in extra business to companies with fewer than 20 staff.

It was also considering a stand-alone unit within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to help the Government to hit the targets.

"Our plan to increase the portion of government procurement undertaken by smaller companies, by at least $300 million by the end of our first term, presents significant opportunities for the sector," Cunliffe said in a statement.

"Some of our most successful companies got their start via Government-procured contracts," he said.

"There is no reason smaller firms should miss out only because of their size."

The announcement was made at pyrotechnics firm Fireworks Professionals in Christchurch.

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