A collective of small business representative bodies and think tanks is to set out a Small Business Manifesto to government today/Thursday April 5.

The Small Business Taskforce, which is made up of 11 organisations that represent two million small firms and self-employed individuals, will raise manifesto points in upcoming meetings with Ministers and policy makers. 

The manifesto sets out ten recommendations it believes needs to happen in order for the UK to remain one of the best places in the world to start and grow a business.

These are:

  1. Delivering and coordinating new data in a way that will accurately measure the contribution small firms and self-employed individuals make to the economy and the communities in which they operate;
  2. A new definition of self-employment that leads to fair taxation and a better understanding of working this way;
  3. A simplified bidding processes for small firms so they can better apply for government contracts;
  4. HMRC to be given more resources to process registration applications EIS Relief in a post-Brexit scenario;
  5. Shared parental leave rights and consideration of extending free childcare hours for self-employed parents;
  6. A single gateway to allow small firms to flag late payment concerns offering four directions of travel to find a fast resolution and continued trade;
  7. Model tenancy agreement for small firms wishing to test out trade on the high street and simplifying Business Rates Relief so more can claim it successfully;
  8. A group to look at how small business support can be funded post-Brexit by harnessing technology and data like Open Banking;
  9. The relaxation of business rates relief for co-working spaces to allow microbusiness collaboration and start-ups to get a good start;
  10. More awareness of entrepreneurship and start-ups in schools.

Taskforce member Emma Jones, founder of small business support group Enterprise Nation, said: “We’re setting out the Manifesto now because the government is ready to listen.

“Small businesses and the self-employed have been patient - but it’s time to raise these legitimate concerns in order to support enterprising individuals so they can have the best chance to grow businesses and thrive in the UK.

"The manifesto has been produced as a helpful contribution to the Industrial Strategy. It calls on different departments, and - in certain areas - large companies, to consider practical points that should be relatively straightforward to introduce, and yet will have a decent and positive impact on small firms. 

“As a collective we believe these ten points have the potential to deliver prosperity and fairness for all. Our plan is to update the manifesto as and when actions have been achieved – ensuring it’s a live document reflecting the needs of business owners in a time of rapid change.” 

The ten-point manifesto will be delivered at meetings over the next few weeks by the 11 organisations comprising Enterprise Nation, IPSE, the British Library, RSA, Centre for Entrepreneurs, unLtd, Social Enterprise UK, National Enterprise Network, The Entrepreneurs Network, EISA, and peak b.