In a significant move to support the backbone of the UK economy, the government has unveiled a revitalised Help to Grow campaign and the establishment of a Small Business Council. Spearheaded by the Department for Business and Trade, the initiative is set to empower the country’s 5.5 million small businesses, which collectively contribute to 99.9% of all businesses, support 27 million jobs, and generate £4.5 trillion in annual turnover.
The Small Business Council, scheduled to launch next month, marks a pivotal step in amplifying the voices of SME leaders nationwide. This bespoke forum will ensure that the unique challenges faced by small businesses are directly addressed within the government’s policy framework.
Simultaneously, the Help to Grow campaign and website have been revamped to serve as a comprehensive “one-stop shop” for small businesses seeking support and advice. Covering crucial aspects such as funding identification, webinars, and foundational business setup guidance, the refreshed campaign aims to simplify and expedite the process for SMEs to access essential resources.
A highlight of the support package is the Help to Grow: Management scheme, a 12-week intensive program designed to enhance leadership and management skills among SMEs. With 90% government subsidy, the scheme has already benefited nearly 8,000 businesses, with a target of supporting up to 30,000 over its lifetime.
To mark the campaign’s relaunch, a panel event featuring the Prime Minister and small business leaders will discuss strategies for starting and scaling successful businesses in the UK. This initiative underscores the government’s commitment to fostering an environment where small businesses thrive.
Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch emphasised the crucial role of small businesses, describing them as the “lifeblood of our local communities.” The Small Business Minister, Kevin Hollinrake, added that the government is actively addressing the barriers faced by SMEs to ensure their sustained growth, subsequently boosting job creation and economic prosperity.
The government’s commitment to fostering a favourable business environment is further demonstrated by efforts to tackle issues like late payments and ongoing support through the British Business Bank. With an extensive business rates package, relief for high streets, and strategic measures on alcohol duty, the government is steadfast in its mission to make the UK the premier destination for business.
The government is collaborating with Small Business Britain to launch the Lilac Review, aimed at addressing inequalities experienced by disabled business owners. These combined efforts play a pivotal role in fostering a dynamic ecosystem conducive to the flourishing of businesses. The Help to Grow campaign and the establishment of the Small Business Council represent crucial milestones, signifying a substantial stride towards declaring 2024 as the year dedicated to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This collective initiative is poised to drive economic security and open up opportunities for all stakeholders.