NFB supports latest Government initiative to help SMEs

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) said it supports the Government's pledge to refresh its Help to Grow campaign following a recent announcement. In this announcement, the Government said it will reassert its commitment to make the UK the best place to start and grow a small business.

It is understood that the Help to Grow campaign will see the introduction of a Small Business Council that will build on the Department of Business and Trade’s (DBT) existing support for SMEs and provide a bespoke forum for small businesses to be represented within Government. There will also be more resources available and a 12-week intensive management course that is 90% subsidised by the Government and aims to improve SME leadership and management skills.

The NFB supports this announcement and, after advocating for SMEs for several years, appreciates the recognition of the importance of SMEs to the economy.

Richard Beresford, Chief Executive of the NFB, said: “This announcement is good news; however, it will be vital for the council to understand the needs of specific industries, as well as promoting existing regulations that already support them. SMEs within the construction industry train 7 in 10 apprentices and makes up 90% of training capacity, so their health is front and centre to the construction industry, delivering 9% of the UK’s GDP and employing 2.7 million people.”

Rico Wojtulewicz, NFB’s Head of Policy and Market Insight, added: “The Small Business Council must identify and tackle the specific policy barriers to support and enable small businesses. In planning, as one of many examples we can offer, design codes will bring much needed certainty, but disjointed decarbonisation and environment policy will remove those gains and add new costs and complexities, which will disproportionately harm SMEs the most.”