James backs small businesses
James backs small businesses

James Frith has announced Labour’s pledge to Bury’s small businesses:

  • £16 billion investment for the North West
  • Upgrade the region’s infrastructure with Crossrail for the North and investment to restore axed routes and create new bus routes connecting all communities
  • Hundreds of new Post Banks providing face-to-face, relationship banking
  • Upgrade 3.2 million households and businesses across the North West to full fibre broadband
  • Stamp out late payments
  • Scrap quarterly reporting for the smallest businesses
  • Fundamentally reform business rates

Labour will also establish a new Business Development Agency (BDA) to act as a one stop shop for business support.

This commitment comes as Labour launches 20 pledges to help small businesses and rejuvenate Britain’s high streets.

Labour will establish a new BDA to act as a one stop shop and champion small businesses across government departments, helping them access business advice, finance and large-scale government contracts.

The Federation of Small Businesses has said that “the business support landscape is complex, with a patchwork of public and private sector initiatives at both local and national levels”.

The BDA will address this gap with a network of business advisers operating out of larger Post Bank branches, providing advice and guidance for local businesses on how to access support and finance.

These advisers will efficiently refer SMEs to financing streams provided by the Post Bank ensuring every business has easy access to face-to-face banking in order to better manage their finances and access start-up and business development loans.

As well as face-to-face support, a central, online portal, similar to both the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman and the US’s Small Business Administration will be established. This will ensure that all SMEs across England and Wales can be directed to a single, accessible location as a first port of call for support.

Like the US equivalent, the BDA will also support small businesses to access government contracts so that they can better compete with larger businesses.

Additional pledges in the 20-point plan include:

  • A £250 billion UK National Investment Bank and network of Regional and National Development Banks to give small businesses and the industries of the future the funding they need.
  • Stamping out late payments that hit smaller businesses.
  • Providing free full fibre broadband to every business premises.
  • Giving SMEs access to funding for training raised through the Apprenticeship Levy.
  • Scraping quarterly reporting for businesses with a turnover of under £85,000.
  • Using government procurement to support SMEs and economic growth.
  • Fundamentally reforming the outdated business rates system, including switching to annual valuations.

James Frith, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Bury North said:

“I’ve made championing small businesses one of my top priorities as your MP over my first two and a half years.

“The Tories have held back great British high streets like ours in Bury, Tottington and Ramsbottom. They’ve allowed the periodic hikes in rates that can make life impossible for SMEs, and they’ve made no serious attempt to stop their chums and donors in big business making late payments to smaller enterprises – which we know can fatally undermine a struggling company.

“This is Labour’s plan to end that unfairness, and level the business playing field in Bury and across the country. That’s real change for small businesses.”

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