A SEPARATE Government body with a seat in the Cabinet to defend the interests of small businesses should be created at the heart of Whitehall, says the Federation of Small Businesses.
Many Government departments deal with small business policy, but there isn’t one that thinks small first. In its Budget submission to the Chancellor, the FSB is proposing that an agency modelled on the Small Business Administration in the US is established to ensure that the voice of small enterprise isn’t lost among competing Government priorities.
The FSB argues that despite promises, successive UK Governments have failed to fully appreciate the needs of the country’s army of small businesses.
A UK Small Business Administration, backed by political will and built for the long term, would break that pattern and would help small firms to drive economic recovery in the UK.
The FSB says that if modelled on its US counterpart, a UK Small Business Administration could facilitate small business finance, such as credit easing and finance to help export; improve procurement opportunities for small firms to meet the Government’s 25 per cent aspiration; and provide speedy disaster assistance for business hit by circumstances such as last year’s widespread rioting.
Ted Salmon, North East Regional Chairman, said: “The Chancellor has made clear that there will be no big tax giveaways in this year’s Budget and that it is up to the private sector to drive economic recovery by creating growth.
“The FSB in the North-east argues that in order to do that, the Government must think small first by giving the North-east’s 121,000 small businesses a more prominent seat within Government.
“Through implementing a Small Business Administration, it would allow the Government to quickly implement policies aimed at helping small businesses in the North East – such as credit easing. It would give the Government a channel through which it can advertise procurement opportunities, give expert help and advice on exporting as well improve communications.”