Telling the truth about SME life today

What entrepreneurs think of the coalition

Kate Pritchard is managing editor of Real Business

“The combination of the Tories’ focus on commerce with the even-handed approach of the Liberals has the potential to ensure that commerce is once again supported, and that this support is not just confined to Big Business plc,” comments Omer Kutluoglu, CEO of 2K Manufacturing. “I’m particularly delighted to see Vince Cable appointed as business secretary, and have every faith that he will get the banks back on track. This coalition unites many of our best politicians in the task of rebuilding the British economy – great news for Britain, its businesses, and its vital SME sector.”

Chris Dow, managing director Closed Loop Recycling, says the coalition is “a good thing” for green businesses. “But, of course, that depends on what they actually manage to deliver,” he adds. “As a UK recycling company, we would hope for continued green investment and more support for our fledgling industry in the way of regulation reform, which would further stimulate the industry.”

The Forum of Small Business (FSB) supports the coalition and applauds the reversal of the one per cent increase in employers’ national insurance contributions and the fact that capital gains tax proposals for businesses will not be changed. It also welcomes the adoption of the Lib Dem policy to raise the personal tax allowance to £10,000, and praises coalition discussions about a national loan guarantee scheme to get more credit flowing to smaller businesses.

“While compromises have been made, the policies laid out will help to safeguard business confidence, allowing it to support further economic recovery,” says John Walker, the FSB’s national chairman.

Dr Nigel Lockett, director of the centre for entrepreneurship and innovation at Bradford University School of Management, also gives his nod of approval to the coalition. With George Osborne and Vince Cable responsible for business and banks, he gives his top ten predictions for UK enterprise:

   1. Banks: Legislation to split investment from retail banking. New bank levy. Formation of Post Bank delivered through the Post Office network.

   2. Business rates: Automatic business rates relief for small businesses.

   3. Business support: Reduced role for regional development agencies. Business mentor networks.

   4. Economy: Attempts to rapidly reduce national debt in order to increase financial stability.

   5. Finance: Increased access to funds from state-owned banks and government schemes.

   6. Green: New low-carbon schemes for small businesses.

   7. Public procurement: Increase access to contracts for SMEs.

   8. Red tape: Reduced regulation and bureaucracy.

   9. Tax: Reduced NI and simplification of corporation tax. Review of IR35.

  10. Training and higher education: Increased apprenticeships and work-based training. Increased university enterprise and collaboration with industry.

Let us know what you think of the coalition – and how it will affect entrepreneurs – by posting your comments below.

You can follow Kate Pritchard on Twitter @KateEPea


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