02 Dec Small Business Minister Kevin Hollinrake urges everyone to support their local small businesses
Small Business Minister Kevin Hollinrake has urged everyone to go out and support their local small businesses this Small Business Saturday [02/12/2023].
Small Business Saturday is an initiative which encourages consumers to shop locally and support small businesses in their communities and it falls on the first Saturday of December.
In a call to action the Minister said: “I urge everyone to join me in supporting our local small businesses this Small Business Saturday. The best support we can give them is to shop local this festive season.”
“Every penny spent at your local small business is an investment in your community.”
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak welcomed small businesses, charities and local communities to Downing Street for a Christmas Market Festive Showcase on Thursday 30th November ahead of Small Business Saturday, and Minister Hollinrake was able to meet with some of the businesses beforehand.
Engagement with Small Businesses is a government priority, and Minister Hollinrake was able to discuss the important topics of accessing finance as an SME, as well as the issue of late payments, which some of the businesses reported had improved since the Department of Business and Trade published the Prompt Payment and Cash Flow Review, signalling clear government intent to back small businesses in this issue.
Supporting small businesses to scale up and grow is a clear government priority. The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement had a clear focus on growth, creating a favourable business environment that keeps more money in consumer’s pockets and reduces costs for businesses, creating the right environment for businesses to start and scale up. The increase to the National Living Wage to £11.44 an hour, as well as cutting taxes for 29 million workers, increases consumer’ spending power, whilst businesses are supported by a £4.3 billion business rates package.
The government backed British Business Bank is supporting £12.4 billion of finance to over 90,000 businesses across the UK, of which 86% are outside London. The Bank is delivering a £1.6 billion programme of Nations and Regions Investment Funds, to support growing businesses outside London and South East. Funds covering the South West, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have launched earlier this year, with more to follow. It has issued over 100,000 Start Up Loans since 2012 providing over £1 billion for entrepreneurs at the start of their growth journey, 40% of whom are women and 21% from an ethnic minority background.
UK Export Finance, the government’s export credit agency also provides government backed guarantees on financial products through banking partners. It was recently announced at their customer conference that it is introducing more flexible, fast-track financing for small businesses – making it easier than ever for UK firms to sell in international markets.