Boosting British enterprise
The Enterprise Act 2016 gained royal assent in May. A key feature of the act is the introduction of a small business commissioner to help small firms handle disputes with larger businesses over issues such as late payment. The commissioner will also have resources to provide general advice and information to small businesses.
Other measures include:
• a requirement under every contract of insurance for insurance companies to pay claims to businesses within a reasonable time.
• extending the government’s target to cut red tape and introducing annual reporting requirements for regulators to show the impact their actions have on business.
• the introduction of targets for apprenticeships in public sector bodies and establishing an institute for apprenticeships, to ensure they meet the needs of businesses.
• extending the primary authority scheme to improve access for small businesses and entrepreneurs to regulatory advice and to save them money.
• capping business-rate rises, improving the business rates appeals system and stopping business rate payers from having to share the same information with both local government and the Valuation Office Agency.
• powers for government to fund new broadband projects across the country for the benefit of industry and local communities.
• stopping six-figure tax payer-funded exit payments in the public sector.
• funding powers for UK Government Investments Limited to oversee the sale of government assets in a way that will benefit the tax payer.
• decentralising powers to allow local authorities to decide whether or not to extend Sunday trading hours.
Essentially all of the measures introduced under the act are designed to encourage the start-up and growth of small businesses to help boost British enterprise.
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