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Last month, in her traditional address to the nation the Queen outlined a few of the new policies, laws and bills that the newly elected Conservative government will be pushing through parliament. One such bill is the Enterprise Bill, an interesting set of policies first announced on May 19th by new Business Secretary – Sajid Javid.
The Enterprise Bill aims to “back small businesses and help create jobs, giving financial security and economic peace of mind to hardworking people across the country”. The main purpose of the bill would be “cutting burdensome red-tape” to save British businesses £10bn and create two million more jobs over the next 5 years.
As a small business ourselves, we thought we would do our homework on the Enterprise Bill and what it could mean for us and other like-minded small businesses.
One of the biggest issues small businesses face according to Sajid Javid is “burdensome red tape”, meaning excessive regulations and laws imposed by the UK government and the EU.
Of course, not all laws and regulations are bad. But the problem for small businesses is that they become burdened by the sheer volume of laws and regulations they must comply and keep up with, all of which result in more costs and time wasted.
It’s estimated that it currently takes a small business two weeks of an average year to sort through the laws and regulations currently imposed on them.
With more money for companies freed up, the idea is the bill will allow businesses to spend more on creating new jobs – at least that is what the government is hoping for. Expansion can come in many forms, especially for small businesses who could find investing extra cash into development rather then resources more beneficial.
With so many laws and regulations imposed on businesses, how will the Government decide which ones will be cut? Well, to answer that question – it seems like the Government themselves aren’t sure on that one yet!
Business Minister Anna Souby said in her statement that “We will be asking businesses for evidence in the coming weeks and months. We want them to be our partners in identifying and scrapping needless burdens at home and in Europe”.
The Government have been working since 2010 on projects like the successful Red Tape Challenge, to cut unnecessary regulations not just on business laws but national policies. This includes saving £300m for small businesses as a result of increased flexibility on audit requirements.
The success of the Red Tape Challenge has probably been a crucial driving force in getting the Enterprise Bill pushed through parliament. With an ‘In/Out’ referendum on the EU now scheduled to happen within the next two years, there is an increasing pressure on Government to strengthen the economy from the inside, supporting small businesses in every way they can.
While leaving the EU could likely see many large corporates establishing their HQs elsewhere – potentially leaving a dent in the economy – small businesses would see a relax on the thousands of red tape regulations placed on companies within member nations. So like all arguments on the upcoming EU referendum, it really is a case of whether the positives outweigh the negatives.
As we wait to hear how the voices of small businesses will influence the policy making decisions, we would like to hear your thoughts.
What red tape laws and regulations would you like to see relaxed? and do you think leaving the EU would benefit SMEs?