Very few small businesses will have come into the new financial year expecting a Conservative government to have an overall majority in Parliament, but as it’s happened, it’s certainly worth thinking about what this means for you as a small business owner. Whether you’re running a small warehouse in an out-of-town industrial estate, or a café in the town centre, you’ll want to pay attention if you’re going to make the coming year the best you can.
Firstly, overall the economy appears to be pleased with the Conservative majority, quite possibly because they’re traditionally seen as the party of business. The indices have risen, and the pound sterling did gain some strength. However, we should certainly not be quick to assume that this means all will be good across the board. Indeed, the Conservatives are generally preoccupied with high earners and national businesses; not necessarily smaller ones like yours.
Having said that, the Tories did produce what they called their ‘Small Business Manifesto’ prior to the election, and in it there are a variety of pledges that will please a great many local employers. Let’s take a look at some of the important points.
Cutting Red Tape – One of the manifesto’s main points is that red tape should be cut by £10 billion over the next parliament. This should in theory make some of the running of your business easier and less time will be spent on paperwork.
Startup Loans – This one isn’t likely to apply to you if you’re already a business owner, but it’s certainly worth mentioning. The Conservatives are looking to treble the number of loans that are being given out to boost the number of businesses in the country.
Government Procurement – There’s a lot of business to be had when dealing with the government itself, and there’s now a target that a third of all central government procurement will be given to small and medium sized enterprises.
Small Business Conciliation Service – Not all small companies will be able to call upon a large insurer like Catlin when things go wrong. This government backed service is going to be set up to help settle disputes out of court.
To conclude, the promises that the Conservative party have made are indeed likely to be good for smaller businesses, but we won’t know until further down the line whether they stick to them, or indeed if they’re as effective as they might have you believe.