Barking and Dagenham business leaders welcome Queen’s Speech
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Barking and Dagenham’s business leaders have welcomed new government measures to help small companies get their hands on public sector contracts.
Among 11 bills announced in today’s Queen’s Speech were plans to tackle companies that abuse zero-hours contracts and minimum wages, and promises to help remove red tape hurdles.
The upcoming Small Business, Enterprise and Employment bill is tipped by the government to give small companies fairer access to compete for an estimated £230bn worth of annual public procurement contracts.
Mark Bass, president of the Barking and Dagenham Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the measures.
“The announcement recognises the importance of small businesses and their value to the economy, which is enormous,” he said. “It’s good news for Barking and Dagenham because we’re one of the great entrepreneurial areas.”
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The Queen, speaking on behalf of her government, also announced plans to ensure larger companies pay small business owners quicker for work they do.
Rogue company directors are also to expected to be hit harder by a corporate ownership bill, which will increase the period they can be banned from trading.
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But the borough’s Chamber leader was especially pleased by the red-tape-busting announcement, claiming current systems were often detrimental to the growth of young business.
He said: “There’s an awful lot of red tape in the way of small businesses so we would like to see the rules made more flexible.
“Often a new start-up will go to a local authority for work and be turned down because they’ve only been trading 12 months, which makes it very hard for new businesses to get work.
“If rules like that can be relaxed and more small jobs given to small business it gives them a chance to become established because, at the moment, getting a foot-hole is very difficult.”
Pubs are also set to get a financial boost, with plans to help tenants struggling to pay rent.
A new statutory code for pub tenancies will be created, with a mediator put in place to reach fair agreements on disputes between publicans and pub owners – something one local pub owner believes will help the industry in Barking and Dagenham.
Nagendra Gauchan, 40, a director of the Spotted Dog, in Longbridge Road, Barking, tod the Post: “Money’s pretty tight in the industry at the moment so I think it’s a good move by the government.
“A lot of pubs have been forced to shut because of rising rents so overall this is good news for the pub trade in Barking and Dagenham.”
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