GBSLEP Blog – Raza Samar (June 2014)
Many of you will be aware of the work being done here in Greater Birmingham as one of the two regulatory pathfinder LEPs.
In essence, this means the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership was asked by Government to get together with the many different regulators that companies have to work with, to find better ways of making this relationship work.
I recently took over the role as Chair of the steering group for this work, which is done under the banner Better Business For All with the secretariat provided by the Chamber.
This work is vital as all businesses ranging from small to large have to comply with legislation.
The bigger businesses are better placed to comply with legislation as they have the resources to assist them with complying.
What small business face as a challenge is the trade off between costs of complying and profit sacrifice or in some cases reduction of losses.
It is the relationship between small businesses and regulators that perhaps needs the most attention.
There was a recent event organised by various regulatory bodies for small businesses with a focus on Indian and Bangladeshi restaurants which took place in Small Heath and which I attended.
I found many small business owners were quite scared of these bodies, in particular the health and safety executive, feeling victims of such bodies.
This left me the impression that businesses did not trust these institutions that are there for the public safety and the greater objective of having rules and regulations that need to be complied with.
I find the fears of businesses are largely misplaced.
Changing these attitudes and making the relationship between businesses and regulators much more constructive is therefore a significant focus of the work.
This is largely a case of building confidence and I believe the Chamber’s role in this will be vital.
I feel currently that the chamber is seen to be a friend of small business. Businesses generally trust the chamber which has a track record of support at various levels. The chamber will therefore assist with shaping policy that is both firm and supportive of small businesses.
The Better Business for All work is ongoing – to be kept up-to-date with what is happening follow us on twitter at @gbslepbbfa or via our e-newsletter which you can sign up to here.