The Labour party offers their business manifesto

Do you know who you’ll vote for on 6th May? What are the issues that you are focusing most on to help you make your decision?

Unless you are already a staunch supporter of a particular political party, you may well still be undecided on your vote in the general election. For business owners, the decision may well come down to which party has the best interests of small businesses and the economy at heart.

For the third in our series of business manifestos from the three major political parties, we are focusing on Labour and Gordon Brown. Will they improve on their current policies or stick with the same path?

We asked Labour what they would do for small businesses if they remain in power and we received a brief overview of their main policies along with a list of measures they implemented during the recession which they will seek to maintain.

Supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs

“We are continuing our Time to Pay scheme and offering a one-year holiday on business rates for small businesses. We will be widening support for training and apprenticeships; and in recognising the special contribution of entrepreneurs we are doubling the Entrepreneurs Relief lifetime limit to £2 million.”

Easing the credit crunch

“We will create a new Small Business Credit Adjudicator with statutory powers ensuring that SMEs are not turned down unfairly when applying to banks for finance.”

Educating the entrepreneurs of the future

“We will help to create a new generation of entrepreneurs, ensuring that those studying for vocational skills are offered the opportunity to learn how to start and run a business, while the Flying Start programme will do the same for final-year university students.”

Simplifying regulation

“We will continue to simplify regulation and avoid unnecessary red tape. If it is used correctly, regulation can help drive innovation, as well as protect workers and consumers. We will seek to reduce the costs of regulation by more than £6 billion by 2015.”

Building on existing policies

In addition to the above, Labour were keen to highlight the measures they took during the recession to help businesses and stabilise the economy.

Of these, the measures that are still relevant as we go into the election include the Business Payment Support Service, which allows businesses to delay their business taxes on a timetable they can afford; deferral of the planned increase in the Small Companies Rate of corporation tax for an extra year; the Enterprise Guarantee Scheme extended until March 2011, which helps businesses to access finance with a 75 per cent Government guarantee on individual loans; and the Strategic Investment Fund, worth £950,000 million, which provides investment in advanced industrial projects.

Get all the information from the main political parties

Read the Conservative party business manifesto

Read the Liberal Democrat party business manifesto

What do you think?