Matthew Hancock, Minister for Skills and Enterprise, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills
As a Government, we are working to make life easier for small businesses. We are simplifying regulation, and, where we can, cutting taxes. But I need your help.
As accountants and finance professionals, you have a hugely important role to play in supporting small business. As trusted advisers, I’m asking you to help communicate the changes we’ve made, and the support available to small businesses, to encourage firms that start-up in the UK to scale-up in UK.
December saw small businesses in the spotlight as the UK celebrated its first Small Business Saturday and government published Small Business: GREAT Ambition – our commitment to make it easier for small businesses to grow.
We are also working hard to simplify employment processes and reduce red tape. These are the issues that small companies regard as obstacles to their growth ambitions and we are doing all we can to address them, including introducing a £2,000 relief on National Insurance bills from April 2014 and making it easier for businesses to calculate their income tax and expenses. But simplifying a regulation reduces a burden only when a business knows the requirements on them have been reduced. That’s where you come in.
The Small Business Saturday campaign did a great job in encouraging the UK to support small businesses. Nearly half of all consumers in the UK were aware of the campaign, and of those over half (57 per cent) shopped at independently owned businesses. It’s vital that we don’t lose this momentum.
We’ve listened to small businesses to better understand their growth ambitions, with most telling us they aim to increase in size. Small firms have told us they need help at critical points and new measures announced in Small Business: GREAT Ambition is making it easier for them to grow.
The new offerings include; broadband vouchers to help small firms access faster and better broadband connectivity, a fairer deal on energy for small businesses, access to £230 billion of public sector contracts and new measures to tackle late payment.
The British Business Bank also received an extra £250 million to support alternative lenders and challenger banks in releasing capital to growing small businesses. This is in addition to the £1 billion already allocated.
Small Business: GREAT Ambition is part of the wider Business is GREAT campaign, which points small businesses to sources of advice and support that can help them grow, and celebrates those that have grown with the help of government support.
There is a new entrepreneurial spirit sweeping across local communities which will help our ambition to make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business.
Small businesses are essential to the overall health of the economy and we want them to start benefitting from these changes now. By working together we can ensure small firms understand the support on offer, and have access to the most up to date information, so they can get on with the crucial task: to grow and create prosperity and jobs.
The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills would welcome your thoughts and any further ideas you may have to help small businesses make the most of government support available. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org