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Small firms appeal to election candidates

The UK’s largest business organisation has reminded councils that 12 million people are employed by small firms, that their taxes fund local authority activity and maintain vibrant high streets across the country.

To ensure that council candidates can manage local government in a way that will defend small employers and their employees in their area, the FSB has published a manifesto for the elections. This outlines how decisions at a local level impact on small businesses and the self-employed that nationally make up 58 per cent of the private sector workforce and produce 50pc of UK GDP.

Allan Banks, policy spokesman for the FSB North Bucks branch, said:
“Decisions taken by local authorities have a direct impact on the success of small businesses.

“In North Buckinghamshire, we will be encouraging small firms to raise issues that are important to their success with their prospective councillors. Our manifesto will ensure candidates from all parties get the message that thriving small businesses are vital to successful local communities.

“The FSB looks to develop and sustain close working relationships with all candidates and local authorities in North Buckinghamshire in support of creating an environment that small businesses can thrive”.

The Small Business Manifesto 2007 has eight key areas with the following recommendations:

1. Finance: Greater promotion of small business rate relief and hardship relief, Local Authority Business Growth Initiative awards used to benefit business, the impact on small businesses of Local Authority trading and charges assessed.

2. Procurement: Commitment to the Small Business Friendly Concordat, less aggregation of public procurement contracts, more accountability on E-procurement.

3. Regulation: End to over-zealous enforcement, support for Enforcement Concordat.

4. Transport: Affordable town centre parking, reduced impact of road works, sufficient funding for the road network.

5. Business waste: Measures to prevent illegal waste dumping, a suitable waste infrastructure, clarification of WEEE rules.

6. Crime and Community Safety: Local Strategic Partnerships must make tackling crime a priority, Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships must address business crime, planning regulations must not penalise crime prevention measures.

7. Planning: Development plans reflecting small business needs, faster planning application process, clearer planning guidance.

8. Consulting business: Genuine budget consultation in the business community, improved involvement opportunities, LSPs engaged with business.”