Labour is the party for small businesses

by Michael Taylor

Given I’ve got a business background and that I’ve campaigned with lots of businesses on regional infrastructure issues, it’s been really emboldening in his general election campaign to take Labour’s message that we are on the side of small business and that our entrepreneurs deserve better.

My dad was a milkman who became self-employed in 1979 and voted Thatcher. Once. That idea that you take control of a part of your life, take on the new challenges of running a business and therefore become part of the ruling class business elite is so outdated and plays counter to the experience of so many small business owners and self-employed contractors. That’s why the shambolic Tory letter in the Telegraph seemed such an outdated and hollow stunt.

As a parliamentary candidate in a Greater Manchester seat the conversation is increasingly about a system that’s stacked in favour of the powerful. Nowhere has this been as apparent in how small companies have been shafted under this government. Especially when it comes to the important commitment to protect small companies against exploitation from bullying behavior from big corporates.

This idea of a monolithic “business community” which only cares about what’s good for business with dog whistle demands for the cutting of red tape bears no relation to how people live their lives.

Government has an important role to play in defending and sticking up for small businesses in all kinds of areas of policy. As well as Labour’s key commitments on skills, rates, and infrastructure the party has taken a fairly bold and unappreciated is also committed to create a Small Business Administration to co-ordinate work across government and to end the muddle of overlapping and ill-defined initiatives that the Department for Business has introduced over the last five years.

The message of fairness also chimes loudly with plans for a British investment bank to co-ordinate a new system of regional business banks and new challenger banks helped by a market share cap on the big banks, an antitode to a system that is failing and force the banks to work for business for better financial regulation to get a fair deal for victims of misselling.

It’s a demonstration of Labour’s ethos of being pro-business and pro-worker. It creates a circle of virtue and prosperity. All three of the companies I’m on the board of do this. So do any number of successful small and medium sized businesses I ever visited in my time as editor of media company Insider, in my research for the Institute of Chartered Accountants, or on the Growth Accelerator programme. The biggest problem for most good companies is access to skilled people who’ll take one for the team if you treat them right.

This is an ambitious and brave Labour agenda and one that hopefully for the start of a successful Labour partnership, one that will help businesses rise to the challenge of the recasting a business landscape that works for everyone. Allowing our dynamic entrepreneurs to take risks, to innovate and to grow and to provide opportunities.

Michael Taylor is the Labour PPC for Hazel Grove

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4 Responses to “Labour is the party for small businesses”

  1. Tafia says:

    If Labour were the party of sm,mall businesses then it would support pay restraint for employees, flexible work contracts with flexible terms and conditions, and zero hours contracts.

    I used to have a small business and employed around a dozen full & part-timers dependent on season and up to a further 20 on zero hours as and when I needed them. If you restrict their profits increase their overheads, increase red tape, paperwork and legislation then you hamper their growth and as a result are most definately not the party of small business.

  2. Rallan says:

    “Labour is the party for small businesses”

    It really really REALLY isn’t!

  3. swtantra says:

    The Coop started out in Manchester; it was a small business, in Rochdale Toad Lane.
    You can still see that shop, now a museum and education centre. It had an ethical policy and served its customers as well as enriching the local community.
    The troubles besetting the Coop Group arose because of the move to a bigger scale. Big is not always better; you lose that social contact with people but can cut prices to the bone, at the cost of cheating farmers and producers of a living income. That’s what all the Big 4 do. SMEs are the back bone our local economies and Labour really does need to sit down and think how bet to support them, and win them over, and not give us that dogma that ‘business is bad for people’.

  4. Dave Roberts. says:

    Could you give us some idea of your businesses Michael?

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