Business leaders in the UK are calling for ‘more targeted support’ for small and medium-sized businesses.
A separate team and division within the Department for Business, Innovation & Skill (BIS) is amongst the recommendations set out in the Growth Britain Manifesto.
Compiled by E2Exchange, a network entrepreneurs in the UK, the manifesto has set forward a number of measures which the organisation believes will help smaller companies and business builders to ‘capitalise’ on an improving economic climate.
Alongside the call to create a dedicated BIS offering for SMEs, is a reforming of the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) so that more sectors are eligible, the class of shares broadened and top end raised to £150,000.
E2Exchange would also like to see national insurance contributions for jobless people under 25 abolished for 12 months as well as raising the employment allowance for SMEs by £1,000 to £3,000.
Shalini Khemka, CEO of E2Exchange, says, ‘While we recognise that the coalition government has introduced some welcome measures to support entrepreneurs and growth companies we still believe that more could be done given their crucial role in helping the drive to achieve a better balanced UK economy.
‘The package of initiatives that we are calling for will help to ease the financial burden of employment tax, business rates and access to funding that is disproportionately borne by SMEs, and assist them in taking full advantage of the gathering recovery to boost their own growth prospects.’
E2Exchange was set up by Khemka in 2011 and counts Virgin Group’s Richard Branson as its honorary president. On its board are Dragons’ Den investor Duncan Bannatyne, former LDC boss Darryl Eales and Quintessentially co-founder Aaron Simpson.
Shalini Khemka praises the government, but says more could be done
The group of entrepreneurs would like to see a reforming of business rates so that company rates are based on performance as well as the property value of its premises.
An extension of the UK’s enterprise zones, which currently stand at 24, is directed at the government so that London and the South East are included.
Its final suggestion involves providing better financial assistance and support for exports such as an SME-specific dedicated export credit scheme.
E2Exchange says it now plans to take its Growth Britain Manifesto and deliver it to prime minister David Cameron’s Policy Unit at No. 10 Downing Street.
The report was launched at the House of Lords-hosted SME Growth Summit – attended by YO! Sushi founder Simon Woodroffe and Lord Leigh of Hurley.
Hurley, founder of Cavendish Corporate Finance, adds, ‘The policy package put forward by E2Exchange I view as an important contribution to the debate about some ideas for further reforms which may help spur the growth of the SME engine of the UK economy, which is so important to ensure the recovery remains on track.’