David Cameron's love affair with small businesses

This week David Cameron used the Federation of Small Businesses' annual conference to outline his future plans for SME help.

We’ve all heard the government rhetoric before: small and medium-sized businesses are going to be the ‘engine room’ behind economic recovery and growth, entrepreneurs are going to lead the way in the business arena.

But ask any budding entrepreneur, and they will still tell you that there are numerous unnecessary hurdles to progression.

It is these obstacles that Cameron and his coalition government are trying to remove, with all of it coming under the banner of the ‘red tape bonfire’ that is often quoted.

So on this occasion Cameron used the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) as a soapbox for his latest policy roll out. He announced that 3,000 rules will be changed or removed, saving an estimated £850 million per annum.

Using terms such as wanting the government to ‘get out of the way of small business success’, Cameron is building on the ‘Plan for Growth‘ outlined during the Budget speech of 2011. Alongside forging the most competitive tax system in the G20, encouraging investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy and creating a more educated workforce that is flexible is a desire to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business.

So far, government action on red tape has saved a reported £1.2 million per year via its one-in, one-out (and then improved one-in, two-out) Red Tape Challenge drive. He’s created entrepreneurship visas to attract overseas talent and is also introducing £100 million of broadband vouchers to get companies online and £2,000 in growth funding for some 20,000 small businesses.

But his affection for small businesses and the entrepreneurs who build them is slightly at odds with the ongoing pandering to big business. A continual fall in corporation tax only really helps larger businesses and the failure to close tax loopholes being legally exploited by the likes of Google and Starbucks shows just how much the UK is reliant on big business and how scared Cameron is about losing them.

The UK, and importantly London, has built itself up as the centre for big business, with many corporations finding it a desirable and profitable place to set up and operate in.

However, our nations new love affair with entrepreneurs has been picked up by Cameron who wants to help it blossom. It’s all well and good siding with small businesses on occasion, but continual support is imperative to make it a long-lasting current of growth.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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