Responding to the Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves’ Conference Speech, as new Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) research indicates that 200,000 small firms would be removed from the business rates system if its reforms to business rates were taken forward by Labour as pledged, FSB National Chair Mike Cherry said:
“A successful everyday economy needs successful everyday entrepreneurs – start-ups, micro businesses and sole traders taking forward new ideas as the commercial landscape changes.
“Currently, our business owners are up against it like never before. From spiralling costs, to trade disruption, to a worsening late payment culture, to chronic skills shortages, to emergency debt repayments, our everyday entrepreneurs are in urgent need of help.
“A lot of small firms will cheer the pro-business policies set out in this speech as they fear a hike in the anti-growth jobs tax in April.
“Removing another 200,000 small businesses from business rates altogether would mark the first major step towards fundamental reform of a pernicious tax. Our research shows that the English regions that will most benefit from this reform would be the major political and levelling up battlegrounds of the North East, North West, Yorkshire, and South West of England.
“Key to the success of a new Office for Value for Money will be bringing more smaller firms into local and national government supply chains. As things stand, too many are locked out by bureaucratic processes and approaches to contract terms that favour big corporates. More diversity in supply chains, and use of Project Bank Accounts to avoid another Carillion, would mean higher performance and better return on taxpayer money.
“Equally, greening the economy and meeting our net zero targets will only be possible if our 5.9 million small businesses are empowered to make incremental gains. The billions pledged today would have to reach those who can really make a difference.
“It’s now up to the Government to respond in kind, setting out the measures it will implement in the forthcoming Budget and Spending Review to get our beleaguered everyday entrepreneurs firing on all cylinders again.”
As the UK’s largest business support group, FSB is the voice of the UK’s small businesses and the self-employed. Established over 40 years ago to help its members succeed in business, FSB is a non-profit making and non-party political organisation that’s led by its members, for its members. As the UK’s leading business campaigner, FSB is focused on delivering change which supports smaller businesses to grow and succeed.
FSB offers members a wide range of vital business services, including access to finance, business banking, legal advice and support along with a powerful voice in Government. Each year FSB also runs the UK’s Celebrating Small Business Awards. More information is available at www.fsb.org.uk. You can follow us on twitter @fsb_policy and on Instagram @fsb_uk.