Suffolk/ Essex: Chambers welcome Minister’s pledge to ease red tape

BUSINESS leaders in Suffolk and Essex have welcomed a Government pledge to ensure independent scrutiny of regulations affecting “challenger” businesses with the potential to lead economic recovery.

The announcement by Business Minister Michael Fallon MP was described as “a step and the right direction” towards tackling a major barrier facing entrepreneurs.

“Year on year our, members across Suffolk tell us that one of the biggest challenges to the growth of their business is dealing with red tape,” said John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce. “Therefore ensuring that innovative, growing businesses are not hampered by burdensome red tape is a step in the right direction.”

“Challenger” businesses are defined as innovative enterprises which do not follow established ways of business working, and which might be held back by burdensome bureaucracy.

Suffolk Chamber has been supporting the Government’s work on the Red Tape Challenge, a cross-departmental initiative to cut back on regulatory hurdles for business.

The challenge has included measures to create a new independent role to champion deregulation for innovative businesses, provide a better balance to the rights of consumers and online traders by implementing a new Consumer Rights Directive to replace the existing distance selling regulations and making it cheaper and simpler for SMEs to challenge potential infringements of their trade marks.

“Businesses large and small in Suffolk are working harder than ever during the recession and must not be held back by out-dated cumbersome red tape,” added Mr Dugmore.

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Denise Rossiter, chief executive of Essex Chambers of Commerce, said: “Independent scrutiny of outdated regulations is vital if we are to help these ground-breaking companies thrive. British Chambers of Commerce has long argued that the role of the independent Regulatory Policy Committee should be strengthened, to ensure regulations that hamper business growth are fully analysed.

“These changes must, however, form part of a wider deregulation package that reduces the burden of red tape for all companies. Only significant deregulation, both domestically and in Europe, will give businesses the confidence to grow, innovate and create employment in the long-term.”

: : Mr Dugmore also today welcomed Business Secretary Vince Cable’s confirmation of plans to create a business bank, backed with �1billion of taxpayers’ money, to underpin lending to smaller firms.

“A business bank would be able to help prevent a repeat of the financing difficulties faced by many companies since the credit crunch,” he said. “What’s more, a business bank will help many new and fast-growing companies become the UK’s future champions.”