THE Queen’s speech has set out a programme of reform for the next two years to prepare the UK to leave the European Union and shore up small business confidence.
The Federation of Small Business’ latest Small Business Index shows a slide in confidence for the first time in the wake of the EU referendum. Small firms want to see measures which prove this Parliament backs them to drive growth and create jobs for the UK economy.
Brian Woods, the FSB’s Surrey and West Sussex regional chairman, said he was pleased with the ambition to provide certainty for businesses as the nation heads toward Brexit and the commitment to low taxation.
“This is vital for small firms who are facing both uncertainty and rising costs of doing business,” he said.
“A thriving small business community, helped to grow by a supportive government, will be crucial to a strong post-Brexit economy. But it’s disappointing that the Queen’s speech was light on other domestic measures for small business. The Government must knuckle down to tackle issues such as reform of the business rates system and changes to corporate governance to stop big companies badly treating their small business suppliers and contractors.”
The FSB believes the raft of Brexit bills announced must prioritise free and easy trade and ensure small firms can access the skills and labour they need after the UK leaves the EU.
On the industrial strategy, the small business champion stated that it must deliver on major infrastructure projects, such as the second phase of the high-speed rail link.
Mr Woods continued: “This is important to the UK remaining competitive globally. Large-scale infrastructure projects must be matched with investment in local roads to boost UK connectivity and growth.
“We welcome the commitment to make good on radical reform to technical education and training to deliver the skills that small businesses need.”