Rushanara Ali MP Statement marking Small Business Saturday

Today is Small Business Saturday. Labour has a plan for creating a positive environment for small businesses to thrive.


Rushanara Ali MP, Shadow Minister for Investment and Small Business said:


“Small businesses are the beating heart of our economy: breathing life into our high streets; delivering services that make our lives easier; providing the goods we need to thrive; and supporting local communities through employment. After 13 years of Conservative leadership, many businesses have had to close or been brought to their knees by the lack of support and investment from government.

Labour has a plan in partnership with leaders in small business to ensure the UK is a place where small businesses can thrive and be championed by government. Labour is proud to back our small businesses and this plan is a serious blueprint for creating the long-term environment businesses across the country are crying out for.

Small businesses have been neglected by government, not given the respect their sheer economic weight deserves. Labour will put an end to this. A future Labour government will hardwire the voice of small business into everything we do - Labour knows the value of small business.”

Labour’s plan for small business will:


  1. Legislate to tackle late payments going further, faster than the Conservatives with tough new laws to make sure small businesses get paid on time.
  2. Scrap business rates for a fairer system to reduce the burden on high street premises and not stand in the way of firms who want to expand. 
  3. Revitalise Britain’s high streets by tackling anti-social behaviour by introducing new town centre police patrols. 
  4. Boost small business exports by publishing a trade strategy and working alongside the Federation of Small Business on a Small Business Export Taskforce. 
  5. Give a new direction for skills and address skills shortages by creating Skills England and working with local industry to ensure local people have the skills they want, including new Technical Excellence Colleges. 
  6. Get Britain building again by reforming the planning system to build 1.5 million homes over the Parliament and removing the planning barriers holding business back, including grid connections. 
  7. Make Britain a Clean Energy Superpower, cutting energy bills for small business and creating job opportunities for tradespeople. 
  8. Make the UK the best place to start-up and scale-up businesses by unlocking the supply of patient capital for technology-intensive businesses.
  9. Provide a fair chance at public contracts to give small and medium businesses fairer opportunities to benefit from public contract bidding.