Labour Launches Small Business Support Plan

Labour is to launch a policy review calling for intervention to channel private investment funds and public contracts towards small businesses.

Chuka Umunna, Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary, said on Monday that the plan is based on recommendations from a small business taskforce contained in a report entitled: ‘Fulfilling the promise of British enterprise’.

Speaking in Birmingham at the start of an open question and answer session with around 100 entrepreneurs, Mr Umunna will say that building an economy that "works for the 99 per cent" means learning lessons from the banking crisis.

“The Government’s isolation abroad is matched only by the extent to which it is out of touch with the needs of the real economy at home. The Prime Minister postures in Europe about protecting the City but delivers nothing; and he does nothing to help investment-starved small businesses.

“[The] Report sets out steps we should be looking at that could take us towards long term change in the relationship between the world of finance and the real economy."

The plan mostly proposes adopting measures introduced in the United States, including a Government-guaranteed lending programme for small businesses, a new lending organisation modelled on the American Small Business Investment Company and a champion agency for SMEs in Whitehall, also modelled on the Small Business Administration in the US.

Mr Umunna said the body should be headed by an entrepreneur – not a civil servant – for their take an entrepreneur’s understanding of regulation, small business taxation, procurement and finance to the heart of government.


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