Launching its Local Government Manifesto in England, the Federation of Small Businesses is calling on council candidates to focus on small businesses – which employ just over half of the private sector workforce.
Small businesses help to generate employment and wealth for the local community. The FSB is urging candidates to support small firms in their local area by calling for a series of practical measures, including:
- Making small business rate relief automatic. Business rates are the third highest expenditure for small businesses and more than£400 million in rate relief goes unclaimed every year;
- Creating affordable town centre parking as a vital service to prevent customers from driving to out of town shopping centres;
- Abolishing any plans for a workplace parking levy and/or road charging;
- Topping up the Non-Domestic Rates pool to enable small companies to apply for 100 per cent rate relief in rural areas for the next 12 months.
FSB North Bucks branch chairman Allan Banks (pictured) said: "Councillors need to think small first in the local council elections this June in order to help small firms to pull us out of the recession. Small firms are an integral part of our communities, generating wealth and employment.
"The FSB is working constructively with councils to improve the economy of local areas and create a vibrant and successful business community. The onus is now on the candidates to show that they know small businesses play an essential role in their wards and that, if elected, they will deliver by helping small companies."