Published date: 24 June 2019

This notice was replaced on 11 January 2023

This notice does not contain the most up-to-date information about this procurement. The most recent notice is:

Awarded contract (published 11 January 2023)

Closed opportunity - This means that the contract is currently closed. The buying department may be considering suppliers that have already applied, or no suitable offers were made.

Contract summary


  • Administration services - 75100000

  • Customer services - 79342300

  • Business and management consultancy and related services - 79400000

    • Call centre - 79512000

    • Miscellaneous business and business-related services - 79900000

Location of contract

Any region

Value of contract

£4,350,000 to £8,350,000

Procurement reference

UKSBS PR18079 Business Support Helpline

Published date

24 June 2019

Closing date

29 July 2019

Contract start date

1 January 2020

Contract end date

31 March 2022

Contract type

Service contract

Procedure type

Restricted procedure (above threshold)

A two-stage procedure, where the first stage is used to select suppliers, who are then invited to bid in the second stage.

This procedure can be used for procurements above the relevant contract value threshold.

Contract is suitable for SMEs?


Contract is suitable for VCSEs?



**Final date and time for the submission of RFI response is Monday 29th July 2019 at 14:00 DO NOT apply directly to the buyer. All tender information MUST be submitted through the CCS eSourcing Portal.**
The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is seeking to procure government business support services for primarily Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) in England: A Business Support Helpline; A database ('Knowledge Bank') of business support schemes and advice in England; an Emergency Response Service capability.
The Authority holds a contract delivering the proposed services. It is envisaged that all the existing services will migrate to the new contract.
The Helpline forms a key part of the government's offer to SMEs, providing trusted information and sign-posting businesses to relevant support, to help businesses to start, grow and thrive. It provides a channel for government to communicate with business, for example in the run up to EU exit. It also offers emergency response capacity. The service must be designed with flexibility to accommodate any changes required to reflect changes in policy. The service must be able to flex capacity responsively to meet peaks in demand. The service must be available and relevant to all entrepreneurs in England, including pre-start, start-up and existing businesses.
The service must provide capacity for at least 50,000 inbound contacts and at least 10,000 outbound in-depth business support calls per annum. The Authority will look to increase annual contact rates above 2018 rates. The service must maintain the Knowledge Bank, and the content of the Business Support Finder Tool on GOV.UK.
Contract award is anticipated to take place in early December 2019. The services must be fully operational by 31st March 2020. The initial Contract term is 27 months commencing 1 January 2020 (including three month mobilisation period). The contract will be subject to a three-month notice period at any time. The estimated total contract value is anticipated to be up to £8.35 million. The contract value for Mobilisation period and the two-year contract (up to £2 million per annum excluding mobilisation costs) is estimated at £4.35m. There will be an option to extend the contract for up to two further years to 2024 on an annual basis (up to £2m per annum; subject to additional spend approval). There is an option to increase the contract value proportionately in line with demand as set out in the review clause within the contract documents, in the event of significant unanticipated additional demand resulting for example from economic shocks or changes in relationships with our international trading partners. Mobilisation costs will be subject to a limit of £350k.
**Please disregard any content in this notice that requests your organisation "to apply directly to the buyer" as unfortunately this is a system generated error, and outside of the Contracting Authority's control

More information



Additional text

1. This procurement will be managed electronically via the Crown Commercial Service's e-Sourcing Suite. To participate in this procurement, participants shall first be registered on the e-Sourcing Suite. 2. If Bidders have not yet registered on the e-Sourcing Suite, this can be done online at https:// by following the link "Supplier e-Sourcing Registration". Please note that, to register, Bidders must have a valid DUNS number (as provided by Dun & Bradstreet) for the organisation which you are registering, who will be entering into a contract if invited to do so. Note: registration may take some time please ensure that you allow a sufficient amount of time to register. Full instructions for registration and use of the system can be found at guidance-for-suppliers 3. Once you have registered on the e-Sourcing Suite, a registered user can express an interest for a specific procurement. This is done by emailing . Your email must clearly state: the name and reference for the procurement you wish to register for; your organisation's full name as a registered supplier; the name and contact details for the registered individual sending the email. Crown Commercial Service (CCS) will process the email and then enable the Bidder to access the procurement online via the e-Sourcing Suite. 4. The registered user will receive a notification email to alert them once this has been done. 5. As a user of the e-Sourcing Suite you will have access to Emptoris email messaging service which facilitates all messages sent to you and from you in relation to any specific RFX event. Please note it is your responsibility to access these emails on a regular basis to ensure you have sight of all relevant information applicable to this opportunity. 6. For technical assistance on use of the e-Sourcing Suite please contact Crown Commercial Service (CCS) Helpdesk (Not UK SBS Ltd): freephone: 0345 410 2222 and email: .Training support to respond to a requirement is available to bidders at

The Contracting Authority(CA) will continue to utilise the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) for this procurement if the United Kingdom (UK) is able to gain access to the OJEU. If, however during this procurement process the UK exits the EU and this does not allow for any transitional arrangements of access aligned to the timings of the procurement, the Contracting Authority will as directed by the UK Governments Cabinet Office (via Crown Commercial Services) utilise the UK Governments own procurement portal to discharge the balance of its statutory obligations associated with this procurement.

About the buyer

Contact name

Patrick McLaughlin


North Star House