Chuka Umunna, the Shadow Business Secretary, recently revealed a US-inspired plan to help small businesses expand and grow.
The UK SBA will be modelled on the successful United States’ Small Business Administration, and will strive to improve the support available for SMEs, as well as to identify opportunities and remove barriers for business growth.
The plans were revealed at an event help at KPMG in Manchester, where Mr Umunna gave support for small businesses and entrepreneurs, ensuring their voices will be better heard in policy making.
“We need to ensure that our different government departments give SMEs a look in when awarding contracts. But also there is another role which the US model plays, which is to ensure businesses get counselling and advice. I have a lot of people who come to my surgeries who want to set up businesses but they are not sure who to go to, where to ask for advice and how to reach out for help.
“So ensuring that there is decent business support in every community would be one of the roles for the SBA in addition to ensuring that businesses know what support is out there.”
Powers for decision making should be taken away from Whitehall and Westminster and given to local regions, he continued.
He used Manchester as an example, saying that Manchester city council, led by Sir Richard Leese and Sir Howard Bernstein, have done a “fantastic job” in helping to power growth in the city.
Mr Umunna said:
“I think strong city leadership is really important, and we have got to decentralise more in this country, we are too London centric, there’s too much done in Westminster and Whitehall. Lets give regions the power, like they do in France. We have got to change the politics in this country, it is old fashioned, it’s an anachronistic, its too adversarial, lets just smash it up and improve it so we get more people involved.”
Photo by The Institute of Physics