business groups

2011 More Challenging for SMEs, say Business Groups

The next 12 months are likely to be even more challenging for small firms than 2010, business groups have warned in their New Year messages. The main business groups have also called on the Government to help small firms grow so they can lead the UK’s economic recovery. Forum of Private Business chief executive, Phil Orford, said trading conditions will remain tough in 2011 due to reduced public spending, rising costs and increased late payments. “In 2010 Britain crept out of the recession, but many small businesses will find the year ahead even more challenging as they try to grow, creating the jobs lost in the public sector and driving economic recovery.” “Removing the barriers to growth created by tax and red tape must be a cornerstone of emerging enterprise policies. ... »

Government Must Deliver on Broadband Pledge, say Business Groups

Small business groups have urged the Government not to backtrack on plans to provide high-speed broadband nationwide by 2017, or risk the collapse of enterprise in rural areas. In 2009, the Labour Government pledged to provide a minimum broadband speed of 2 Mbps for everyone in the UK by 2012, then in the March 2010 Budget it announced plans to roll out super-fast broadband to 90% of the UK by 2017. However, while the new Government has agreed to stick to the commitment to provide 2 Mbps broadband nationwide, it has not confirmed a timetable for this or funding plans. In the Emergency Budget, it suggested the expense would be funded by the private sector — not by a broadband levy as previously planned.  On BBC Radio 5’s Live Drive programme on 14 July, BT Openreach chief executive, Steve R... »

Red Tape Reduction Plans Welcomed by Business Groups

Business groups have welcomed the coalition Government’s plans to set up a Reducing Regulations Committee to cut the burden of red tape on small businesses. Announcing the new committee this week, business secretary, Vince Cable, said it would review business laws due to be introduced between June 2010 and April 2011 to ensure they do not present an unreasonable cost to small firms. Research by the Forum of Private Business (FPB) last year showed that meeting regulations costs smaller employers a total of £9.3 billion a year and takes them on average 37 hours a month. Central to the new committee’s role will be monitoring the new “one-in, one-out” approach, which will ensure a new law is only brought in when an existing one is removed. A “challenge group... »

Business Groups Welcome Chancellor’s Tax Relief for SMEs

Business Groups Welcome Chancellor’s Tax Relief for SMEs

Business groups have welcomed tax relief schemes announced in the Budget to help small firms, saying that the Chancellor has finally recognised the need to put small business at the heart of economic policy. However, they expressed continuing concerns about the UK’s Budget deficit and its impact on business activity. “After two years of economic downturn, the Chancellor has clearly recognised the need to place business at the heart of the Budget,” said British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) director general, David Frost. “Doubling the annual investment allowance, help with business rates, and allowing entrepreneurs to keep more of their gains will prove especially popular.” “However, the Chancellor could have done more to set out a clear plan for the reducti... »