Labour pledges to be ‘voice of small business’ if elected

The Labour Party has promised that the voice of small business will be “integral to a Labour government”.

The comments were made at Labour’s first Small Business Sunday at its annual conference in Liverpool.

“Labour knows the value of small businesses, who are not just the lifeblood of our communities but essential to our economic success,” said Jonathan Reynolds, shadow secretary of state for business and Trade.

Reynolds continued: “With Labour, small businesses will get the firm economic foundation they need to thrive, with action to tackle late payments, business rates reform and make it easier for small businesses to win public contracts.”

Labour has previously outlined measures it would take regarding business if it were to be elected to government, including the replacement of business rates with a “system for the 21st century”; action to tackle the scourge of late payments; and creating a “level playing field” for smaller firms to access public contracts.

Bosses from 44 UK retailers – including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Lidl and M&S – recently penned a letter to chancellor Jeremy Hunt calling for a freeze in the business rates multiplier expected to be announced in the upcoming Autumn Statement.

According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), the retail industry pays over £7 billion in annual business rates. Without action from the chancellor, it said the business rates multiplier will rise in April 2024, in line with the September inflation figure – expected to be over six per cent – resulting in an increase of more than £400 million a year on retailers’ business rates bills.

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