Business support groups have joined forces ahead of party conference season to demand more support for SMEs. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has led the effort, bringing together the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), CBI and Enterprise Nation.
FSB chairman Mike Cherry said that while his members report a continued dip in confidence, “there are a series of domestic policy decisions we now need from Ministers to boost the economy.
“Top of the list is delivering infrastructure projects, both large and small, to connect small businesses and to open up public procurement to them.
“In addition, we want to see expansion of the annual investment allowance to drive innovation, a streamlining of the tax system to boost economic growth and new help for the self-employed.”
‘Business groups must present a united voice’
Emma Jones, who founded Enterprise Nation, is a supporter of the effort saying she felt very clearly that the Government is very different to the previous one and is listening more.
“The first thing the Prime Minister did was hold a round table where she heard what small business bodies had to say.” That meeting happened last week, and Jones said. “If ever there was a time for the small business groups to get together and present a united voice, it is now.
“We have talked to 15 groups, including the British Chambers of Commerce, the FSB, IPSE, the Centre for Entrepreneurs and the Scale Up Institute. We have said: ‘Let’s find common areas of interest, let’s all come together’,” she added.
As a result of the tie-up, an event is set to be held at the Labour party conference in Liverpool this Thursday.
“With party conferences, all organisations are going to want politicians to do too many things. It becomes easy to ignore. We hope that if we all get together it will be difficult to ignore us. That’s why we are calling Thursday’s event United for Small Business.”