Minister Calls for Small Business Friendly Europe
Europe’s business ministers must work together to improve small firms’ growth in the EU through practical measures, the UK “small business minister” has said.
Business and enterprise minister, Mark Prisk, made the comments following the publication of a review A Small Business Act for Europe. Prisk said he supported plans by the European Commission (EC) to cut red tape and urged the creation of a senior politicians’ group to work for the interests of small business in all 27 EU states.
Prisk said such a forum would be an influential body that could
“improve the visibility of SME policies across Europe, spread best practice and encourage effective action.”
He added that what was needed was a
“practical mechanism to boost Europe’s position as a small-business friendly environment”.
“We need to examine how we can promote small business growth across Europe. Small businesses need to realise their ambitions without being stifled by unnecessary rules and regulations.”
The Small Business Act was introduced in 2008 to provide small firms with better access to finance, reduce their administrative burden and help them to benefit from European and international market opportunities.
Using its motto “Think Small First”, the Act asks regulators and public servants to consider and promote small business growth before new rules are passed. Its successes include the establishment of the Late Payment Directive, where public authorities must now pay their suppliers within 30 days.
Under the review, the EC has increased its commitment to small firms proposing new resolutions to increase global trade for small exporters, and maintain a legal framework that supports small businesses by checking new laws against a red-tape SME test.
Other proposals include one-stop-shops for small firms to apply for European, national and local grants. As well as EU-wide harmonised corporation tax and help recovering debts from abroad.