Written by: Keith Tully
Reviewed: Thursday 25th July, 2019
The Small Business Federation (FSB) has called on the incoming prime minister Boris Johnson to urgently address the issue of business rates in order to support its members across the UK.
According to the federation, the existing business rates regime is “regressive” and a major concern for a great many small businesses throughout the country.
“The UK has long been one of the best places in the world to do business. It’s crucial that we keep it that way,” said Mike Cherry, the FSB’s national chairman.
“We had promising discussions with Boris Johnson during his campaign and look forward to working with him on the issues that matter most to small businesses.”
Specifically on the issue of business rates, Mr Cherry said he and his organisation’s members want to see the rates discounts currently available to small retailers made accessible as well to manufacturers.
He also suggested that nursery operators should be made exempt from business rates across the UK as they are already in Scotland.
The FSB has said it wants to see the new prime minister “shoring up apprenticeship funding” and increasing investment in the country’s broadband internet and phone infrastructure in support of small firms.
“As things stand, small business confidence is at rock-bottom: political uncertainty has left us unable to invest, grow and plan for the future,” Mr Cherry said in a statement.
“We need to see a real sense of urgency from this new prime minister when it comes to creating a pro-enterprise environment.”
Meanwhile, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has said that it wants to see the new prime minister acting quickly and taking a “transformative approach” to getting the UK economy “back on track”.
“Early signals matter. The UK is a fantastic place to do business but we must be honest - the reputation of our country has taken a dent in recent times,” said Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the CBI.
“Our new prime minister has a real chance to inject a new lease of life into the UK economy and show the world we are open for investment.”