Posted: Wed 21st Jun 2017
Entrepreneurs react to the small business-related measures in this year's Queen's Speech.
Emma Jones, founder, Enterprise Nation:
"What small businesses are looking for is a strong British economy, a level playing field on which to do international trade, predominantly with Europe but also further afield; improved infrastructure including broadband, less unnecessary red tape that disproportionately affects small companies and access to talent.
"The digital charter appears to be acknowledging issues being faced by start-up tech firms, which is good news, but we hope the extended worker rights suggested will take into consideration how real small businesses work, ie by outsourcing, using seasonal and part-time workers, taking care of their employees in a workable way, without creating reams of irrelevant bureaucracy for businesses with very few employees.
"The Queen's speech has paved the way for new measures following the Matthew Taylor Review of Employment Practices which is expected to tackle the gig economy, employment status and potentially such things as auto enrolment and National Insurance for the self-employed.
"We welcome this but hope it doesn't herald a broad brush approach and that it will also recognise the sacrifices and hard work those starting small firms put into their business."
Jonny Everett, founder, The Chat Shop:
"Brexit and the impact of that on the economy and business is still really uncertain. The speech alluded to new trade policy and deals post-Brexit, but we're still in the dark as to how we'll get there and what it'll mean for the economy. As a services business, we're likely to feel the effects of any downturn that comes from a less than favourable deal, if that knocks onto our overall economic health as a country.
"The speech also mentioned additional investment but it sounds very infrastructure and industrially focused. This is no bad thing, but some form of small business funding or backing for businesses of all forms was a notable absence. Uncertainty is bad for business and I don't feel like we're clearer on how the future will play out following the speech.
"Being a business that's proud of our diverse workforce, I was pleased to hear that more focus will be placed on tackling gender pay and discrimination at a wider level."
Simon McVicker, director of policy, IPSE:
"It is commendable that the Government intends to listen to business in the new Parliament. We agree it is important to get to grips with modern employment practices, but in doing so we must also protect the flexibility that gives the UK a critical advantage over other European economies.
"To protect the interests of small businesses and the self-employed, the government should ensure that their voices are heard in the upcoming Brexit negotiation. The UK must prioritise making it possible for the self-employed to continue working and doing business in Europe."
James Mackonochie, co-founder, OFF3R:
"Theresa May's loss of a majority means that the only real achievement possible for this government will be a successful Brexit. That is positive for small businesses as we need a swift end to uncertainty. It really brings it home how important the next two years will be when you see the legislative agenda laid out so starkly.
"Irrespective of successes or failures of Brexit it has definitely caused one thing and that is the fact that our country will have been treading water for three years whilst the mess is untangled. Let's hope it's worth it."
John Armstrong, co-founder, Custom Planet:
"It was great to see that there are plans to help business export to new markets, which will be vital following Brexit. Also the commitment to keep corporation tax low for small businesses is very welcome and will help stabilise things in these uncertain times.
"The only thing that is of possible concern for all businesses is the end to the free movement of people and if this creates a skills shortage then how will this be addressed? But overall. as a starting point, I believe it looks very positive for small businesses."
Tom Harwood, co-founder, Aeriandi
"The Queen's Speech has confirmed that data protection policies will remain high on the government's agenda and will continue to be a key priority for UK businesses in the months and years to come.
"The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), due to come into effect in May 2018, will give customers the right to have any of their personal call data erased.
"This places more stringent requirements on the storage and back up of customer voice recordings. Businesses both large and small will need the ability to archive, store and crucially, retrieve call data quickly, following a customer request."