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Meg Munn MP - Sheffield Heeley's voice in Parliament | Welcome
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Business Adviser Journal - November 2003

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Business Adviser journal


Issue 19 Autumn 2003


Questions to Meg as a representatives of the All Party Parliamentary Small Business Group


1.      In your opinion which government initiatives since the Bolton Committee Report of 1971 have played the biggest part in encouraging a new culture of enterprise in the UK, and why do you feel they have been successful?

Enterprise crucially involves risk-taking so steps to reduce risk have had a significant impact. Changes include insolvency rules ensuring that Government cannot claim funds before other suppliers; promotion of forms of ownership alongside the Ltd. company model, such as limited liability partnerships and mutual ownership - all allowing for enterprise without the danger of losing everything.

The increasing importance given to education and skills improvement, both for the general workforce but also crucially for those interested in becoming entrepreneurs has been significant.


2.      If you had the opportunity to change one piece of legislation to improve the competitive conditions for UK small firms, which would it be and why?

The most important thing that Government can do for small firms is not to keep changing legislation. A stable economy with low inflation and low interest rates is much more important. Most large businesses manage to ride out recessions in a way that small businesses can’t. Being able to build up capital and confidently plan for the future is what most helps small enterprises.



3.      When you talk to your small firm constituents, what do they appear to want most in terms of support for their business?

They do not have detailed advice within their own organisation on a whole range of issues, some of which may only crop up every few years. When that happens they need to know where to go to get the right advice. A simple directory of who to contact would be the most helpful. There are many business support organisations and government agencies but who to ask about a particular problem is rarely clear.


4.      In your opinion, how will enlargement of the EU impact UK small firms?

EU enlargement will increase the size of the European market for goods and services. Small firms can benefit from larger markets but specific help is required. In Sheffield we have the South Yorkshire International Trade Centre providing advice on how to market goods abroad and help firms identify partner businesses who can facilitate development into new markets.


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