A new parliamentary briefing outlining how the Enterprise Bill will affect UK small business ahead of its second reading before parliament, has been released
The new policy is likely to be ratified by Parliament later this year and will see the creation of a Small Business Commissioner to advise and assist SMEs in payment disputes.
The new measure will also implement new apprenticeship targets in the public sector, tackle delays in insurance payments to companies and amend business rates.
The new briefing paper released earlier this month states that small businesses will be able to go to the Small Business Commissioner to arbitrate in complaints made against late-paying larger firms, through a specific complaints scheme for SMEs.
Recent research from Zurich’s SME Risk Index shows that more than half (53 per cent) of the UK’s small businesses are owed an estimated £255 billion in outstanding payments, so a crackdown on late payments will be welcomed by the majority of small businesses.
Small to medium-sized companies will also be entitled to receive insurance claim pay-outs within a “reasonable time”.
The new Bill will also introduce two adjustments to non-domestic tax rates, enabling information sharing between the Valuation Office Agency and local councils; bringing in an appeals system against unfair business rates.
The briefing said that the Enterprise Bill would “cement the UK’s position as the best place in Europe to start and grow a business, by cutting red tape and making it easier for small businesses to resolve disputes quickly and easily”. It will also help towards “saving businesses at least £10 million over this parliament.”