The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has published a Small Business Plan for Europe and it is urging MEPs to deliver on it. Anna Tobin reports
The FSB Small Business Plan for Europe calls on MEPs to look beyond Brexit and take a number of steps that will help to develop Europe’s 23.8 million small businesses. These include:
- Prohibiting persistent late payers from all future public procurement contracts via a targeted revision of the EU’s Public Procurement Directive.
- Ensuring all future and revised trade agreements contain a comprehensive small business chapter.
- Making existing skills initiatives and policies more inclusive of smaller businesses and sole traders, helping them to up skill and satisfy their skills demands.
- Adopting strict rules on regulatory changes to help limit the cumulative burden on small businesses.
- Improving the law enforcement response to cybercrime in the longer term through effective coordination of Member States cybersecurity and crime agencies.
- Developing an EU level framework for women’s enterprise – in an effort to grow and support women’s enterprise
“Europe’s 23.8 million vibrant small firms are the heartbeat of their respective economies and it is right that policymakers in Brussels do everything they can to help these entrepreneurs grow and flourish,” says Mike Cherry, the FSB national chairman. “This is just as true for UK small businesses as it is for any other small business on the continent, as despite ongoing uncertainty about our future relationship with the EU, decisions made in Brussels will continue to impact the everyday lives of small business owners here in the UK.
“A self-employed consultant from Huddersfield will have the same questions for MEPs as a small drinks producer from Prague. How can you make sure that I am paid on time? Are you going to help my business trade with new international partners? Am I going to be able to access the talent I need to grow my business? All MEPs should be seeking to answer these questions before and after the polls on 23 May.
“With increasing global competition, rapid technological change, chronic productivity problems and rising costs, small firms are facing some of the toughest business conditions they have ever faced. Small businesses across Europe, not just in the UK, need support to better deal with these challenges. It is up to MEPs and policymakers to create the best possible conditions to allow our small firms to continue creating jobs, unlocking growth and driving innovation that benefits everyone. Our small business plan for Europe offers a roadmap to delivering this and we hope that MEPs from across Europe back it.”