Conservatives in the European Parliament have welcome the adoption by national governments of the European Union’s Small Business Act. The Act’s main purpose is to cut the administration burden faced by small businesses in Europe. It includes a variety of measures – to encourage and simplify access to government contracts, promote innovative small and medium enterprises and improve access to research and development funding.
The Conservatives have especially welcomed the inclusion of a small business filter in all future impact assessments. Their internal market spokesman, Malcolm Harbour MEP, commented:
"Small businesses and entrepreneurs are the backbone of the economy.
In these difficult times, the best thing the EU can do is get off entrepreneurs’ backs. While the Small Business Act could have been more ambitious, it does lay the ground-work for less red tape, and legislation better tailored to micro enterprises.
The British government has now given a political commitment to think about small businesses when implementing EU legislation. Every small business owner I talk to complains that the British government adds unnecessary burdens to new directives through gold-plating.
There is now no excuse: whether in Brussels or Whitehall, we all have a duty to think small first."