Local opposition councillors have set out the Lib Dems’ five point plan to help small businesses ahead of Small Business Saturday (December 5). Measures they would like to see include fines for big suppliers who fail to pay up on time and improving broadband access.
Haringey Lib Dems are calling for more support for small businesses in the borough after it was revealed the local Labour-run council has a £30m bill backlog including invoices from small businesses.
They say more needs to be done to support the 11,600 small and micro business owners in Haringey including ensuring they have access to a highly-skilled workforce, access to finance to help them grow and fast payment of their invoices.
The Lib Dem plan aims to support those ‘small for good’ businesses that are the backbone of local communities, as well as the ‘small for now’ businesses, with big ambitions to grow rapidly.
The five point plan includes:
- Give the new Small Business Commissioner real teeth to tackle late payments by big businesses, including fining big suppliers who regularly fail to pay on time.
- Boost access to finance by requiring diversity within the financial sector, including encouraging new online lenders and supporting a regional banking network.
- Ensuring businesses get the skills they need, by investing rather than cutting Further Education, supporting apprenticeships and creating new training programmes.
- Ensure businesses have access to high quality broadband by investing now in a real high speed universal services to every part of the country.
- Support small businesses with big ambitions to scale up, by encouraging a new generation of venture capitalists to invest in good ideas and promote business growth through equity financing rather than debt.
Cllr Gail Engert, Haringey Lib Dem Leader of the Opposition and former partner in a small business, comments:
“Small and micro businesses make up 98% of small businesses in Haringey. They are the backbone of our community employing thousands of people and helping our local economy to grow.
“Small Business Saturday is a chance to say thank you for all the work small businesses owners do for our area, but the fact is that we need to do more to support them in return. For example, the Labour-run council can help by paying their small business suppliers quickly.
“All too often small businesses owners end up paying themselves below the minimum wage in order to keep staff on. They work incredibly hard and sacrifice an awful lot; the least the Conservative Government can do is help them succeed by offering more support.
“The Liberal Democrats five point plan for small businesses is about ensuring we support small business both now and in the future. It is vital for Haringey and the whole of the UK economy.”