The Forum of Private Business (FPB) has written to members of both the Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet, seeking support for its 'Think Smallest First' campaign. They are urging senior MPs, including the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, to pledge their support for the UK’s smallest firms first and to consider the impact of the regulation on the smallest businesses at every stage of the legislation process.
Prof Whyman, who has written exclusively for the FPB, refers to small businesses as the "backbone of virtually all economies", quoting figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which show that almost half (47.1%) of the UK's working population – 22.4 million people – are employed by small businesses. In turn, they produce £2, 6000 billion worth of goods and services. He also writes that small businesses have the potential to be more customer – focused than their larger competitors, often operating in niche markets, identifying new opportunities and satisfying market demands that would otherwise remain unfulfilled.
More than 99% of the UK's businesses are small (1 to 49 members of staff); however, the majority employ fewer than 10 employees. The recruitment and Employment Confederation estimates 9,070 of the 11,354 recruitment companies (80%) earn less than £1m in turnover.
Phil Orford chief executive at FPB, said; "It is widely acknowledged that small businesses across the UK are struggling to cope with the increasing burden of red tape and other barriers to growth, such as the UK's disproportionate tax system."
"The key issue is that businesses at the smaller end of the scale most often lack the resources to over come these barriers. Considering the smallest, most valuable firms had to be the number one priority of all politicians when it comes to legislating on enterprise."
Chris Crawford is the MD of BD Recruitment, a specialist recruiter for the creative recruitment, marketing recruitment and technical recruitment industries, based in Manchester, UK.