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Labour release Plan for Small Business

By December 1, 2023No Comments

The Shadow Business and Trade Secretary Jonathan Reynolds has unveiled Labour’s plan for small businesses if they form the new Government next year. Labour has made a great deal of noise about their pro=business credentials, with their plans giving small companies greater confidence and certainty ahead of next year’s vote. The key points are outlined below:

  • To tackle the scourge of late payments, Labour would legislate to require the audit committees of big businesses to report on their company’s payment practices in the company annual report. This would increase transparency for small businesses engaging with potential future customers and would also build awareness within the businesses themselves of poor standards.
  • Labour will scrap the current business rates system and replace it with a fully costed and fully funded system of business property taxation. This new system will increase incentives for businesses to invest, rather than discouraging them from doing so.
  • In a bid to boost exports, Labour will publish a trade strategy shaped by business and guided by Labour’s industrial and foreign objectives.
  • Labour will work alongside the Federation of Small Business on a Small Business Export Taskforce which will look at practical ways to remove the barriers to exports for firms of all sizes and improve guidance to make exporting easier.
  • Labour have pledged to ‘make Brexit work’ by improving on the Conservatives’ deal when the TCA renewal period comes in 2025.
  • A future Labour government will continue to cover 95% of costs for non-levy payers protecting apprenticeship starts in small businesses.
  • Labour will address skills shortages head on by creating Skills England.
  • Labour will strengthen planning capacity by hiring more than 300 new planners across the public sector to expedite decisions.
  • Labour will unlock the supply of patient capital for technology-intensive, early stage businesses to enhance access to finance at scale.
  • Labour will reform the British Business Bank to give it a more ambitious remit, helping it better support SMEs and giving it a stronger mandate to support regional growth.
  • Labour will ensure the UK capitalises on its world-leading universities and research base to grow the number of spinouts that make the very most of the UK’s ground-breaking research. They will better track spinouts from universities with a dashboard to identify what’s working and where there are barriers. Moreover, they will work with universities to ensure there are a range of options on founder-track agreements helping to boost spinouts and economic growth.
  • Labour’s National Procurement Plan will give small and medium businesses fairer opportunities to benefit from public contract bidding, requiring that at least one SME makes the shortlist when any smaller, suitable contract goes out to tender.