GBSLEP Blog – Wade Lyn (May 2013)
As the owner of a small business myself, I know only too well about the barriers regulation can present to companies and their growth aspirations. It can cloud strategic thinking, it can prevent investment and, in some cases, can keep you up at night.
Well things are changing… for the better.
In my role as a Board Director of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), I have been given the task of leading on improvements to the way regulation is delivered and part of this remit is overseeing the rollout of ‘Better Business for All (BBfA)’.
Working in partnership with the Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO), this approach is focused on effective regulation being a catalyst for business growth.
At the heart of this is a major change in culture on both sides. We need companies to lower their defences and be more receptive to embracing legislation, but we’ll only achieve this if the regulators show a greater understanding of the impact it has on firms.
There are a number of things we are doing to achieve this.
Firstly, we have drawn up a Regulatory Charter that received unanimous backing and have gone on to implement a number of initiatives aimed at training regulators and making regulation simpler and easier to understand.
The latest one involves the launch of www.talktoreg.co.uk, an online portal that provides a single point of reference for business support and regulatory guidance.
Created by Lichfield District Council, the website features contact details and useful information for organisations responsible for food safety, health and safety, environmental protection, licensing, trading standards and fire safety.
Companies across the LEP area will be able to log on and find the relevant contact they’re after within a few minutes or, in some instances, two clicks.
Users enter their postcode in the search engine to find the relevant experts serving that geographic area, with telephone, email addresses and website details all listed. Furthermore, the categories have been designed so they match what a business might be looking to find; for example food safety inspections, building regulations, tax and employment.
It has only been live for a short while and we’ve already had 200 visitors log on to www.talktoreg.co.uk for information.
I noticed with interest that the Queen’s Speech featured a Draft Deregulation Bill that outlined a number of measures the Government plans to introduce to reduce the amount of regulation… the intent is clearly there.
It’s not going to happen overnight, but GBSLEP and the BRDO are committed to ensuring that regulation is no longer seen as a foe, but more of a friend in the pursuit of business growth.