Clare Burnett

Member Article

Government plans to support Yorkshire & Humber SME’s

The government has announced plans to support SME’s across Yorkshire and the Humber, where they represent 44% of private sector employment, with more than 350,000 small businesses employing 858,000 people.

Small Business: GREAT Ambition is a commitment to SME’s, and was set out on Small Business Saturday this weekend.

Initiatives include;

  • Broadband vouchers – 22 cities across the UK, including Bradford, Leeds and York, will benefit from £100 million of Broadband vouchers worth up to £3,000 each to help more small firms boost their business by accessing super-fast broadband.
  • Access to £230 billion of public sector contracts – Implementing Lord Young’s recommendations, which were accepted by the Prime Minister in May, to make it easier and simpler for small firms to win public sector business.
  • Tackling late payment of small firms – Ensuring that all small businesses who supply the public sector in a supply chain will be paid at the same time as we pay our big contractors. And we will consult on new measures to tackle late payment in the private sector.
  • A fairer deal on energy – An agreement with the energy firms to end auto-rollovers for business customers, limit back billing, increase transparency of contract terms and make switching easier.

Small businesses will also benefit from an additional £250 million being made available to the British Business Bank to improve access to finance, announced by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Business Secretary Vince Cable earlier this week. Also a further £160 million will allow the successful Start Up Loans scheme to be extended to more entrepreneurs.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “I meet with small businesses regularly who tell me about what Government support works well and what doesn’t. Through our commitment to small firms we are directly addressing that feedback, freeing them from unnecessary burdens, providing more finance and improving access to advice and support.

“In particular we are tackling the issue of late payment, which can threaten the survival of otherwise healthy businesses. We are enforcing prompt payment through the entire public sector and asking what more we can do to get credit flowing in the private sector.”

Enterprise and Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said: “I’m delighted that on the national day for small businesses, Small Business Saturday, we can demonstrate our commitment to making it easier for small businesses to grow.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of the British economy and responsible for nearly half the job creation in the UK. That’s why we are removing barriers to growth and supporting them, so that they can create jobs and compete in the global race.”

Commenting on the Gordon Millward, Regional Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said:

“Small Business Saturday has the potential to increase awareness among households across the country about the great businesses in their areas, but supporting small firms must go further than one day a year.

“More small firms must exploit the use of faster broadband if they are to expand their businesses, but there are also thousands of firms around the UK who struggle to even get a broadband signal and the Government must not forget this.

“Broadband vouchers should help those in the 22 cities, however the FSB still wants to see a greater push for universal connectivity to help those firms in rural areas that won’t benefit from the scheme.”

“The efforts of Government in limiting back-billing and ending roll over energy contracts are a significant triumph for small firms. Energy is the main cause of rising business costs for our members and frustratingly for small firms they have to go through an arduous annual process of contacting energy suppliers in order to get a good deal on their bills.

“Increasing transparency of contract terms should ease this burden and make it harder for the energy companies to use businesses as a cash cow.”

“The smallest firms don’t have the same cash-flow buffers as their larger counterparts and being paid on time can be the difference between being able to pay their staff and their own bills.

“We have long said that Government needs to ensure its Tier 1 suppliers pass the quick payment terms they receive down the supply chain so the commitment to pay small firms at the same time as big contractors is significant.

“Opening up £230 billion of public sector contracts to small firms could see up to £144.9 billion retained in local economies as FSB research shows for every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business (SME) 63p was re-spent in the local area compared to 40p in every £1 spent with a larger business.

“Spending locally invests in jobs and growth for the area. We want to see more of this happening across the country. Engagement with small firms is essential. While our members do win contracts, many are still deterred by the process.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Clare Burnett .

Enjoy the read? Get Bdaily delivered.

Sign up to receive our popular Yorkshire & The Humber morning email for free.

* Occasional offers & updates from selected Bdaily partners

Our Partners

Top Ten Most Read