Labour has announced its plan to establish a new Business Development Agency (BDA) to act as a one stop shop for business support.
This commitment comes as Labour launches 20 pledges to help small businesses and rejuvenate Britain’s high streets. This is very important for Mid Bedfordshire.
Labour will establish a new BDA to act as a one stop shop and champion small businesses across government departments, helping them access business advice, finance and large scale government contracts.
The Federation of Small Businesses has said that “the business support landscape is complex, with a patchwork of public and private sector initiatives at both local and national levels”.
The BDA will address this gap with a network of business advisers operating out of larger Post Bank branches, providing advice and guidance for local businesses on how to access support and finance.
As well as face-to-face support, a central, online portal, similar to both the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman and the US’s Small Business Administration will be established. This will ensure that all SMEs across England and Wales can be directed to a single, accessible location as a first port of call for support.
Like the US equivalent, the BDA will also support small businesses to access government contracts so that they can better compete with larger businesses.
Additional pledges in the 20-point plan include:
- A £250 billion UK National Investment Bank and network of Regional and National Development Banks to give small businesses and the industries of the future the funding they need.
- Stamping out late payments that hit smaller businesses.
- Providing free full fibre broadband to every business premises.
- Giving SMEs access to funding for training raised through the Apprenticeship Levy.
- Scraping quarterly reporting for businesses with a turnover of under £85,000.
- Using government procurement to support SMEs and economic growth.
- Fundamentally reforming the outdated business rates system, including switching to annual valuations.
Rhiannon Meades, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Mid Bedfordshire said:
“Labour’s the true Party of small business.
Small businesses, the lifeblood of our economy especially in Bedfordshire. They are part of our community. They employ local people. The companies and their staff actively spend in the local economy which in turn boasts our communities.
Labour wants business support and finance to be available for entrepreneurs from the moment the seed of an idea is planted.
Labour’s Business Development Agency, will create thriving businesses within our communities, bringing life back to local economies. The Agency is part of 20 pledges we are making because Labour is on the side of small business. It’s time for real change.
Local small business owners and employees are telling me how much they welcome Labour’s pledges and how they feel abandoned by the Conservative Party as it panders to big-corporations and hedge billionaires.
Labour’s policy will be good for our local economy and for local employment.”