A new taskforce promising to be the "voice of small businesses" in the UK is bringing together some of the key SME membership organisations in one lobby group.
The Small Business Taskforce, which has been established by Emma Jones of Enterprise Nation, has attracted a number of key SME bodies as members including the Forum of Private Business (FPB), the National Enterprise Network (NEN), IPSE (the association for freelancers), the accountancy body ICAEW and the Centre for Entrepreneurs (CFE).
Altogether these membership organisations reach nearly two million small businesses in the UK - almost half of the total SME population.
Emma Jones has also said that the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), while not official members, will work with the taskforce on an issue-by-issue basis.
The taskforce will champion the needs of small firms, lobby Government and reach out to ministers so that they can consult small businesses before introducing new regulations. New initiatives such as quarterly tax reporting, for instance, have caused significant concern in the SME community.
"We're taking matters into our own hands," Emma Jones told the Daily Telegraph this week. "Entrepreneurs are the doers. We shouldn't be waiting for Government to make the first move. This is a critical time for small businesses and they need a voice."
The Small Business Taskforce has written an open letter to all ministers, including prime minister Theresa May, making five key recommendations for Government:
Continuing to support a flexible workforce including ensuring EU workers in the UK have long-term resident rights;
A workable tax regime created in consultation with SMEs;
Accessible business support;
International trade for all;
Consultation with small businesses.
The taskforce "is prepared to help the Government work on fresh plans for what business support and procurement could look like in a post-Brexit world," said Jones. "We welcome the opportunity to work closely with Government to ensure the small business base of Britain can continue to prosper, delivering economic and social returns to our country."
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