A major business lobby group is seeking to help small firms by meeting with Alistair Darling at the Labour Party Conference this week. It's calling for reduced red tape and better finance availability.
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) wants to see the VAT 17.5% switchback delayed and the planned 2011 National Insurance contributions increase scrapped. It wants the property-focused Small Business Rate Relief system improved and the Enterprise Finance Guarantee extended (it’s due to expire this March).
It suggests creating Enterprise Zones of reduced red tape to promote startups and international trade.
The BCC’s director general David Frost said: “These are the views of thousands of companies on the front line of this recession – ministers must take note.
“With many businesses, and particularly small firms, still experiencing access to finance problems, there is clearly a need for the government to continue with measures that boost money supply.”
He added: “Once out of recession, government must allow the private sector to continue driving recovery, by maintaining spending on vital business infrastructure, removing tax and regulatory barriers to growth, and refocusing our economy from public spending and consumer debt to trade and enterprise.
“Our submission takes full account of the pressures on the public finances and makes sensible, realistic arguments for where limited public money should be spent going forward.”
We hope the group’s meeting with the chancellor and other senior government ministers ahead of the Pre-Budget Report proves fortuitous. This is exactly the kind of thinking needed to pull small business – and the economy – out of the recession.