Catch up on the big issues in this week’s Small Business Bites. We cut through the noise to dig out stories that really matter to UK small business owners, from the last two weeks. Here’s our roundup of things you need to know:
Government launches new £40m entrepreneur fund
Small business minister Margot James this week announced the Government’s support of a new, £40m entrepreneur fund to help firms scale up and grow. The Enterprise Capital Fund; the 21st of its kind and backed by the London-based pre-seed accelerator company Entrepreneur First, will be backed by £26m of Government money via the British Business Bank. The ‘startup factory’ will be targeting early VC businesses in need of extra finance to support fast growth or expansion, offering them a mix of public and private sector investment to help kick-start growth. It could be a big step towards the UK Government’s ambition to nurture and develop more homegrown business and tech startup talent.
“Small businesses are at the heart of our economy and the whole country benefits when they grow and create jobs for people. The government-owned British Business Bank is helping more than 48,000 businesses with over £3.1 billion of support, much of it going to those with high-growth potential.”
Small Business Minister Margot James
FSB urges Hinckley Point to be built by UK small businesses
Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Mike Cherry has responded to the Governments decision to approve the building of the Hinckley Point C reactor by calling for the UK’s small businesses to be given the opportunity to play their part in the multi-billion-pound construction process. While he emphasised the FSBs support for these types of ambitious, nationally significant infrastructure projects which offer huge potential for the economy, he also stressed the need for “small business friendly procurement practices” like appropriately sized contract opportunities and supply chain monitoring.
Prompt Payment Code give fresh Government backing
Has your business signed up to the Prompt Payment Code yet? If you have, you’re not alone; over 1,800 businesses have pledged their commitment to the fair and equal treatment of suppliers and to pay invoices within 30 days. Last week, Margot James reiterated her support for the code, criticising firms who paid late and calling for a “culture change to stamp this out”. As our recent research into financial risk showed, late payments and bad debts remain a serious problem for small businesses; with inconsistent and untimely payments making or breaking many owners’ livelihoods. Sign up the Prompt Payment Code here.
Government calls on small businesses to “show more ambition”
For the first time in four years, a survey by the FSB has shown the UK’s small businesses to be more pessimistic than optimistic about the future of the economy, however, making the news again, small business minister Margot James urged them to show more “ambition”. The results of the survey of more than 1,000 businesses go somewhat against wider news this week from some camps that suggested the negative impacts of Brexit were overstated before the referendum. James said: “A lot of growth is about ambition. Some people are quite content to establish a business and nurture it, and they don’t necessarily want it to grow into something they cannot control and that is fine. But to grow the economy we need businesses that want to grow.”