News & Insight

What the Tory manifesto means for small businesses

Max White

A 30 second guide to the important stuff for business owners

Yesterday the Conservative party published their manifesto: Forward, Together. In this post, we pull out the important bits for small businesses.

A Strong Economy That Works For Everyone

The Tories have identified five ‘giant challenges’ facing the UK, which they intend to address if they win the general election. The first is labelled: A Strong Economy That Works for Everyone.

In this section, Theresa May outlines what her Conservative government promises to do for businesses and the UK economy:

  • A strong economy built on sound public finances, low taxes, better regulation and free trade deals with markets around the world.
  • A new deal for ordinary, working people giving them a decent living wage and new rights and protections in the workplace.
  • Fairer corporate governance, built on new rules for takeovers, executive pay and worker representation on company boards.
  • Growth across the country through our modern industrial strategy and major investment in infrastructure, skills and research and development.
  • Competitive and affordable energy costs following a new independent review into the cost of energy.
  • Prosperous towns and cities, underpinned by strong local institutions, the relocation of government function, and shared cultural assets across the country.

Backing small businesses

Page 21 of the manifesto is targeted specifically at small businesses. It reads like this:

The Conservative Party is the party of enterprise and of the entrepreneur. We understand that small businesses are the wellspring of growth. They form a key part of British life, valued for their contribution to every community across the country. We will continue to support small businesses through business rate relief and low taxation, and by reducing the bureaucracy and regulation that prevents small businesses from flourishing.

As part of broader reforms to the business energy market, we will consult on how to extend our safeguard tariff cap to micro-businesses.

Central government must play a role in supporting SMEs: across all government departments, we will ensure that 33 per cent of central government purchasing will come from SMEs by the end of the parliament. As part of our modern industrial strategy, we will explore how government can do even more to support innovation by small and start-up firms. We also recognise that government can improve the general business environment for SMEs, so we will use our buying power to ensure that big contractors comply with the Prompt Payment Code both on government contracts and in their work with others. If they do not do so, they will lose the right to bid for government contracts.

More manifesto news to follow

Next week, we’ll be looking at what each of the main UK political parties’ manifestos holds for small businesses. Return to the Biz Hub for this and more general election news as it happens.