The Queen’s Speech highlights the landmark introduction of the “Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill”, a significant piece of legislation that is, for the first time, specifically designed to address the needs of small businesses.
The proposed legislation represents a major achievement for the FSB, which has long campaigned to remove the problem of late payments that causes serious cashflow problems for businesses and to reduce the impact of costly and burdensome regulation on small firms.
The first ever Small Business Bill includes a package of measures designed to create a fairer marketplace and improve the general operating environment for small businesses.
Tackling issues around prompt payment, access to finance, employment law, procurement and large pub companies controlling rent increases and beer prices for smaller public establishments.
Key measures for the FSB in the Bill include strengthening the existing Prompt Payment Code and forcing larger businesses to publish their payment terms to increase transparency on the ethical treatment of small suppliers.
In addition, enhanced powers have been granted to the Government’s Regulatory Policy Committee to increase scrutiny of regulatory proposals.
The FSB recently launched the BBI website commissioned by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to help improve competition in the banking sector for small businesses.
The Small Business Bill marks the next stage in helping to create greater access to funding and a fairer marketplace for small businesses to operate in.
Gordon Millward, FSB regional chairman said:
“The Small Business Bill, announced today in the Queen’s Speech, reflects the growing recognition of the role small businesses have to play in driving forward the economy and the need to do all we can to support them in that effort.
“This landmark Bill will therefore be welcomed by our members.
” It includes measures that we have pushed for in our discussions with Government and indeed all political parties over the last twelve months to help them support their growth ambitions – such as action on late payment terms for smaller suppliers and to beef up scrutiny of unnecessary regulation.
“We now look forward to seeing the detail when the Bill is introduced, and working with all parties in the Commons and Lords as the Bill progresses through Parliament before the Election.
“We recently launched the British Banking Insight website commissioned by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to increase the transparency of the lending market for small businesses.
” The Small Business Bill marks the next stage in improving the operating environment for all small firms across the country.”
The Small Business Bill will be published on 16 June 2014, followed by Second Reading, Committee and Report Stages and Third Reading of the Bill in the Commons before it reaches the Lords and completes its passage through both Houses by March 2015, in time for the General Election.