As he announced his intention to step down as prime minister, David Cameron reassured investors that the British economy is strong enough to weather the storm of leaving Europe. We look at the policies he has put in place to support the small firms which make up the majority of UK businesses.
Giving small business a government advocate
One of Cameron’s first moves when he became leader of Britain’s first Conservative majority government in 18 years was to create a small business minister, announcing Anna Soubry’s appointment to the role in May 2015. One of our Small Business Decision Makers 2016, Soubry has encouraged small business owners to reach out to her and committed to taking on board their concerns.
Standing up to late payments bullies
With 62 per cent of small business owners seeing invoices not paid until they are overdue, the practice can be crippling for micro enterprises, with desperate entrepreneurs even resulting to payday lenders to help manage cash flow. Cameron announced a consultation on late payments in 2013, arguing: “It’s not right that suppliers are not getting paid on time for the work they do and the services they provide and I know that late payment can have devastating effects.”
Helping workers with mental illness get back into work
With the employees of small firms most likely to feel that people with mental illness are well supported at work, micro enterprise bosses stand to benefit greatly from Cameron’s mental health taskforce, announced in February 2016 with the aim of supporting one million mentally ill employees return to the workplace.
Tackling red tape head-on
The prime minister announced plans in 2014 to scrap more than 3,000 burdensome rules and regulations from British law, hoping to “get out of the way of small business success”. Legislation as a result of this pledge has included exempting low-risk businesses from health and safety inspections and reducing food labelling legislation.
Committing to fast broadband for all
Focusing not just on glamorous tech startups in the capital but the rural entrepreneurs for whom poor connectivity is a serious impediment to business success. In November 2015, the government announced plans to make rural broadband available to all UK citizens, with Cameron arguing: Access to the internet shouldn’t be a luxury, it should be a right – absolutely fundamental to life in 21st century Britain.”
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