What will Labour and the Conservatives do for small businesses? » SMEInsider

What will Labour and the Conservatives do for small businesses?

The general election is almost here, but who should small business owners vote for? We take a look at both Labour and the Conservative party’s manifesto for small businesses.

During the election campaign trail, the issue of small businesses has really been on top of the agenda and both David Cameron and Ed Miliband have made promises to SME owners up and down the country. Let’s take a look at what each party has promised for small businesses.

Labour Party:

1. Ed Miliband plans to give small businesses ‘‘a voice at the heart of government – a Small Business Administration, which will ensure procurement contracts are accessible and regulations are designed with small firms in mind.’’

2. Rising costs for smaller firms will be assessed as well as clamping down on late payments.

3. Corporation tax and cutting down on the divide between large and small businesses has been something that the labour party have been talking a lot about. ‘‘Instead of cutting Corporation Tax again for the largest firms, we will cut, and then freeze business rates for over 1.5 million smaller business properties.’’

4. Miliband plans to regionalise the economy by developing a banking system that can specifically target different economic problems that are occurring in certain regions. These changes are designed to promote more growth for local SMEs.

5. Labour will create a British Investment Bank that will help small businesses grow as well as creating more jobs.

6. More competition on the high street is certainly on the agenda. ‘‘Following the Competition and Market Authorities inquiry we want a market share test and at least two new challenger banks.’’


Conservative Party:

1. Similar to the Labour Party, the Conservatives aim to establish ‘‘a new Small Business Conciliation service to mediate in disputes, especially over late payment.’’

2. David Cameron has pledged to increase the number of business start-ups to 600,000 a year by 2020. In 2014, a record breaking 581,173 businesses were registered with Companies House.

3. Business rates will certainly be looked at, specifically designed to help small businesses that are “striving and grafting and trying to do their best.

4. SME owners will have more of a voice in government, as the Conservatives pledge to raise the target for SMEs share of central government procurement to one third.

5. Employment allowance is certainly an issue that has been in the thoughts of many small business owners. The Conservatives plan to keep the allowance until 2020, as well as putting in place a “significantly higher permanent level” for the Annual Investment Allowance.

6. Investing more into apprenticeships is also high on the agenda. Cameron has promised to deliver 3,000 new apprenticeships over the next five years.

What do you think about both parties’ manifestos? Do you Miliband and Cameron could go even further to help SMEs? We would love to hear from you.