New law supports SMEs

Parliament has passed a new law that includes provisions to support small business owners.
• Establish the office of a Small Business Commissioner, who will help small firms tackle late payment and lobby government on their behalf over issues such as VAT and business rates.

• Bring certain statutory regulators within the scope of the Department for Business target of cutting £10 billion of red tape in the current parliament. The regulators will be identified separately.

• Extend the Primary Authority scheme, which enables local councils to reach agreements with trade bodies to provide advice on sector-based regulations that can be relied upon by small firms.

• Increase the quantity and improve the quality of apprenticeships, for example, by making ‘apprentice’ a protected title and involving employers in developing apprenticeships for their industry.

Other measures include reform of the business rate appeals system, enhance the right of shop workers to opt out of Sunday shifts, and enable private investment in the Green Investment Bank.

The first Small Business Commissioner should be appointed this summer.

More info on the Government website here.