The Government has appointed Emma Jones MBE as Small Business Crown Representative.

This role is part of the Crown Representative Network, introduced by the Cabinet Office to align procurement process across all Government departments. The Government has made a manifesto commitment to spending £1 in every £3 on SMEs by 2020.

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) congratulates Emma Jones on her appointment and looks forward to continuing the good working relationship which it enjoyed with her predecessor, Sir Stephen Allott.

Despite making up 18% of all businesses in the UK private sector, construction SMEs are still facing major challenges in accessing public procurement and avoiding late payment.

Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said: “There are still unfair barriers to construction SME participation in public sector procurement. In addition, the industry has the worst payment record of any sector – with construction SMEs owed more than £30 billion in unpaid invoices.

“We look forward to working together with Emma Jones on solutions to current issues concerning greater SME engagement and payment performance in public procurement.”