SMALL BUSINESS CONSULTATIVE MANIFESTO LAUNCHED
The Genesis Initiative calls on Government to establish Small Business Charter.
The Genesis Initiative, on Monday 20th July in the House of Commons launched its consultative manifesto for the future of the small business community.
The manifesto recommends the creation of a SME charter: bringing together broad principles to support and encourage small business, alongside the establishment of clear rights and responsibilities. This includes protection from vexatious employment claims, the right to charge for time taken preparing for Government inspections and acting as Government agents, the right to compete on equal terms for government contracts and a fairer direction in terms of taxation and finance for business.
2007 figures from the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform demonstrate how important small businesses are to the British economy. SMEs employed 13.5 million people, making up 59.2% of private sector employment. Their collective turnover came to £1,440 billion, 51.5% of private sector turnover.
The consultative manifesto, also sets out specific policy proposals designed to nurture small businesses.
Public procurement should be made more accessible to SMEs through the creation of a framework for such businesses to tender for public contracts. Public sector contractors should be protected from the dangers of late payment through a clear requirement for public authorities to pay within thirty days; building on the current recommendation from the National Audit Office for 30 day payment.
30 day payments could be supported through proposed revisions to the EU late payment directive, which would sanction public authorities who fail to pay within the time limit, and should be adopted according to the initiative. It would also be beneficial to see the ‘think small first’ principle, incorporated into the EU’s Small Business Act, implemented at national level, ensuring that all new legislation and procurement procedures are made with SMEs in mind.
“We hope the manifesto will provide government with the basis on which to move forward” said Brian Binley MP, Chairman of the Genesis Initiative. “With nearly 60% of private sector employment dependent on SMEs, the small business community is crucial to the health of the British economy. A small business charter, such as the one we propose, would help encourage entrepreneurs to keep creating wealth and employment as they already do so well”.
Notes to editors
1. The Genesis Initiative, established in 1999, aims to encourage the creation and growth of SMEs and to support them through research, the writing of policy papers and acting as an advocate for their common interest. This complements and strengthens the efforts of established representative SME organisations. Genesis acts as a co-ordinating body, bringing together Entrepreneurs, SME Academics, SME Representative Organisations, and Members of All Party Groups within both Houses of Parliament and the Welsh Assembly.
2. The initiative supplies policy papers from its Senate for onward transmission to Government and interested parties. Conferences, seminars and other meetings, often on a regional basis, are held to harness the collective views of the SME community and channel their vision, ethos and culture towards policy-makers/legislators.
3. The Senate is a body that meets once during each Parliamentary session and involves highly professional and qualified individuals who are representative of Entrepreneurs, SME Academia, Parliaments and Assemblies and SME Organisations within the UK (some 113 organisations representing nearly 1 million members).
4. Included in the Sponsors of The Genesis Initiative is PRS for Music, the leading copyright and royalty collection society representing 60,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers, many of whom are small businesses themselves. A not-for-profit organisation, it ensures music creators are paid whenever their music is played.
For further information please contact:-
Alan Cleverly OBE
Chief Executive Officer
The Genesis Initiative
Surrey GU20 6BH
Tel: 01276 452020
Mobile: 07721 860223