WHAT DOES THE ENTERPRISE ACT MEAN FOR SMALL BUSINESSES?

With the passing of Royal Assent, The Enterprise Act has now come into force in the UK. Verastar asks: what does the Enterprise Act mean for small businesses?

Vital SME policies

Explaining the significance of the Enterprise Act, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) said: “The package of measures in the Act will help the government deliver on many of its commitments [to businesses], from cutting red tape and tackling late payment to boosting the quality and quantity of apprenticeships.” Small business portal SME Insider writes that the legislation includes measures designed to aid small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs). These measures include:

  • The establishment of a legal obligation for insurers to make good on business insurance claims within a reasonable span of time.
  • New measures to strengthen and protect apprenticeships. This includes the establishment of independent, employer-led body the Institute for Apprenticeships. This is designed to ensure that apprenticeships meet the requirements of UK businesses.
  • The extension of the Primary Authority Scheme, which has proven successful. The Act will make it easier for companies to receive consistent, bespoke guidance from local authorities, facilitating the greater confidence businesses require to invest and expand.
  • Actions which are aimed to meet Whitehall’s £10bn deregulation goal. This includes measures designed to increase transparency via annual regulator reporting requirements.
  • The creation of a Small Business Commissioner to aid SMEs in recovering late payments. In a recent BIS study, 33% of SMEs cite late payments as a significant obstacle to success.

Commenting on these measures, Business Minister Anna Soubry explained: “Together these measures will give a big boost to British enterprise. The Small Business Commissioner will help tackle the scandal of late payment – one of the leading issues for smaller firms. While the positive steps to reduce the burden of regulation and give more young people the opportunity to do an apprenticeship will benefit millions of businesses across the country.”

Small business growth

The Act includes a variety of extra measures which could prove beneficial to UK SMEs. For instance, it will reform the business rates appeal system and broaden shop staff’s rights to refrain from working on Sundays. In other words, the Enterprise Act will make it easier for UK SMEs to conduct business, ensuring they develop the revenue flows necessary to generate health return on investment.

The Enterprise Act will also update the Industrial Development Act to aid the roll-out of telecommunications and broadband. The UK’s digital economy is proving increasingly lucrative, with consumers now spending an average of £1,500 on goods online per year. It is vital that small business invest in robust internet infrastructure. kinex, a brand operated by Verastar, provides the first-rate broadband services small businesses require to capitalise on the UK’s fast-growing online economy.

Verastar

Verastar is a leading provider of essential business services to micro SMEs, operating under the following brands: kinex, Clear Business Water, Titan Telecom, Marble Telecom, Economy Gas and 118777 Limited. Our business model is focused on providing a spectrum of consolidated services that disrupt traditional markets and create great savings, efficiencies and value for our customers.