Speaking at the Federation of Small Business Policy Conference yesterday, Labour shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna announced that, if elected in 2015, the Labour Government will create a “Small Business Administration”, modelled on the US agency of the same name. The SBA would be tasked with looking after the interests of small businesses and entrepreneurs at Government level, and would ensure the voices of small business owners are heard when new policies are drawn up.
Mr Umunna highlighted that the UK was “the only G8 country without a state-backed investment institution to support our small businesses – we’re going to change that.”
Stating that he wants the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) to become the best business department in the world, he added:
“[We] need to establish a UK Small Business Administration. I agree we need Government to be a better servant, and customer, of our small businesses and to make sure that entrepreneurs’ voices are heard at the top table. I think a UK Small Business Administration is necessary to realising this ambition.
“I’m pleased to announce today we will set one up if elected in 2015.”
Labour believes a UK SBA would create a step-change in opportunities for small businesses from Government procurement, and improve the quality of support available.
The FSB has been calling for the establishment of a dedicated small business body in the UK, and delegates at the conference received the announcement enthusiastically. Umunna’s speech came after Prime Minister David Cameron had set out the Conservative Party pitch to small businesses, promising to cut red tape.