It is well documented, that both political parties feel that the SME and company formation sector are pivotal to the development of the UK’s economy. However, speaking at the Government’s Department for Skills and Innovation last week, Lord Mandelson further highlighted how the personal commitment and dynamism of the SME sector will be vital to the long-term development and growth of the economy.
While the Government has spoken at length about the importance of the small business sector, they have developed a few short-sighted strategies – for example, the planned increase in National Insurance – and have made some ill advised decisions, one example of which was the appointment of Sir Alan Sugar as the Prime Minister’s business advisor, who then went on to criticise small business owners who were finding the recession a huge challenge as ‘moaners’, which resulted in the mass alienation of the SME sector.
However, with publication of the government’s ‘Growth Strategy’, it seems supporting SME growth and company formation is still high on the government’s agenda. The strategy outlines a number of key areas which the government aim to focus on to secure consistent economic growth. These areas are technology, skills, a commitment to an open market and enterprise.
While the strategy seems to be full of good intentions, many SME’s fear that it is yet another policy devised in an attempt to win votes, which may not be implemented in the long-term. It seems clear, that any planned policy to help small business from either party within the ‘election year’ may have to be taken with a pinch of salt.