Small Business Taskforce sets out 10-point demand to government

Small Business Taskforce sets out 10-point demand to government

Posted: Tue 10th Apr 2018

A collective of small business representative bodies and think tanks is to set out 10 demands to government in a series of ministerial visits starting today.

The Small Business Taskforce, which is made up of 11 organisations that represent two million small firms and self-employed individuals, will kick off its manifesto meetings with a delegation to Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss.

The paper sets out 10 recommendations it believes needs to happen in order for the UK to remain one of the best places in the world to start and grow a business.

These are:

  1. Delivering and coordinating new data in a way that will accurately measure the contribution small firms and self-employed individuals make to the economy and the communities in which they operate

  2. A new definition of self-employment that leads to fair taxation and a better understanding of working this way

  3. A simplified bidding processes for small firms so they can better apply for government contracts

  4. HMRC to be given more resources to process registration applications EIS Relief in a post-Brexit scenario

  5. Shared parental leave rights and consideration of extending free childcare hours for self-employed parents

  6. A single gateway to allow small firms to flag late payment concerns offering four directions of travel to find a fast resolution and continued trade

  7. Model tenancy agreement for small firms wishing to test out trade on the high street and simplifying Business Rates Relief so more can claim it successfully

  8. A group to look at how small business support can be funded post-Brexit by harnessing technology and data like Open Banking

  9. The relaxation of business rates relief for co-working spaces to allow microbusiness collaboration and start-ups to get a good start

  10. More awareness of entrepreneurship and start-ups in schools

Taskforce leader Emma Jones, founder of small business support group Enterprise Nation, said:

"We're setting out our demands now because it feels like the government is ready to listen.

"Small businesses and the self-employed have been patient - but it's time to raise these legitimate concerns and set out in our manifesto in order to support enterprising individuals so that they can have the best chance to grow businesses and thrive in the UK.

"Small firms make up 96 per cent of the UK's total business population. And yet very little is understood about their real contribution to the British economy and as a consequence of that, very little thought and effort has gone into finding out what they actually need to continue to deliver half of all employment.

"As a collective we believe these 10 points have the potential to deliver prosperity and fairness for all."

IPSE'S Directory of Policy and External Affairs Simon McVicker said the Manifesto came at a particularly important time for the UK's 4.4m self-employed population.

"The rise of the self-employed - up nearly 50 per cent since 2001 - represents a permanent and major structural shift to the economy.

"The lack of clarity about who is and who isn't self-employed is creating confusing and stifling confidence in this vital sector.  It is totally unacceptable that policymakers are relying on the courts to define self-employment.

"We want a positive definition of self-employment so the genuinely self-employed have certainty and peace of mind, and so unscrupulous companies cannot exploit confusion and push people into false self-employment.

"This Manifesto provides a roadmap for the government to fully embrace the benefits the self-employed bring to the economy, particularly in ensuring the UK retains its most important competitive advantage - its flexibility - at this uncertain time."

The 10-point manifesto will be delivered to ministers over the next few weeks by the 11 organisations comprising Enterprise Nation, IPSE, RSA, Centre for Entrepreneurs, unLtd, Social Enterprise UK, National Enterprise Network, The Entrepreneurs Network, EISA, and peak b.

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