Government unveils new plans to back small businesses

The Northern Echo: Business Secretary, Dr Vince Cable, has backed proposals to help smaller businesses Business Secretary, Dr Vince Cable, has backed proposals to help smaller businesses

THE lifeblood of the North-East business sector has been given greater powers to expand and create new jobs.

The Government has unveiled new plans to allow smaller firms to grow strongly, including proposals to make it easier for companies to win public sector business as well as tackling late payments.

The blueprint also features new broadband vouchers worth up to £3,000 to help companies boost online business and an agreement with energy firms to end auto-rollovers for business customers.

The moves come on the first UK Small Business Saturday, launched today, which urges people to back their local businesses.

Ministers say small businesses play a critical role in the North-East, representing 51 per cent of private sector employment, with 134,000 companies providing jobs for more than 333,000 people.

Business Secretary, Dr Vince Cable, said it was vitally important to support smaller businesses.

He said: “I meet with small businesses regularly who tell me about what Government support works well and what doesn't.

“Through our commitment to small firms we are directly addressing that feedback, freeing them from unnecessary burdens, providing more finance and improving access to advice and support.

“In particular, we are tackling the issue of late payment, which can threaten the survival of otherwise healthy businesses.

“We are enforcing prompt payment through the entire public sector and asking what more we can do to get credit flowing in the private sector."

Matthew Hancock, Enterprise and Skills Minister, added: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the British economy and that is why we are removing barriers to growth and supporting them.

“We want them to create jobs and compete globally.”

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