It’s getting hot in the Enterprise Rockers kitchen
Last Friday I had an article published in Business Zone online where I dared to criticise the House of Commons for showing itself up on Budget Day as being clueless about small businesses. It is the ‘Most Read’ and ‘Most Commented’ article on Business Zone and the vast majority of business owners that have read it are supportive. It wasn’t a political article – the Enterprise Rockers is not political neither is it a lobbying organisation.
We are a Community Interest company and our community is micro business owners around the world – these business owners will have many different political allegiances and views. In this UK instance, my views were the views of the majority of Rockers and all political parties proved themselves as bad as each other.
The majority of the MPs, and their advisers, do not care to understand real people and real enterprise. They talk in condescending language and cliches. They assume wrongly that post graduate educated, executives in large companies and government understand more about business and are better leaders than small and micro business owners. The reverse is true – certainly as far as motivated staff and satisfied customers. Their policies give the majority of government funds, training and support to larger companies that don’t need it.
Many comments and policies of Government and Big Business are discriminatory
I’d be a rich man if I had a fiver for the number of times an MP said ‘I’ve got a lot of SMEs in my constituency’ (99.9% of all businesses are SMEs – meaningless). The MPs response to £million, and more annual packages, to senior executives in large companies, reducing amounts of corporation tax gained from these large companies and massive government funding of their workforces through modern apprenticeships, training and employment subsidies is ‘we can’t afford to lose them’.
This is despite the fact that it is micro enterprises that provide all the new jobs and Big Business is in meltdown on jobs, has been for ten years, but not profits. Most micro business owners would rather see these £billions of business support not come to them but prop up our badly creaking health and social care infrastructure. Government could at least ask those companies it contracts with, or has bailed out, or supports with funding, to pay its bills within 30 days – that would help 4.5 million businesses.
Will they? No, instead all parties subscribe to the Prompt Payment code. Sainsbury, a major UK Supermarket, can be a prompt payer – in 75 days, which is what it’s terms state. It is near death to many micro businesses. The average payment is made in 68 days – even Government only average 43 – this is terrible for small and micro business owners but it’s easily corrected by Government. ‘No Government dosh and no contracts and no subsidies unless you pay all your suppliers within 30 days’..
When Tina Boden and I founded the free-to-join-in, global Enterprise Rockers Community Interest Company, we knew that micro business (0-9 staff) owners working together, trading together, bartering together and supporting each other would make the business world a better place for all. We also knew that most business owners can’t be seen to be critical or positive. They never know what views their next client holds and cannot afford to upset anyone.
That’s fine as Tina and I and the 20 Band Leaders and Head Roadies (like Stefan Topfer, Editor of this Blog) are happy to ‘get gobby’. We’re not going to lobby but we are going to get gobby – tell it as it is. As we’ll eventually be supported hundreds of thousands, hopefully millions, getting involved with the Enterprise Rockers, then Governments and Big Businesses, around the world, will have to listen. They cannot ignore, what we call, the Power of Plenty – or they’ll lose clients, customers and voters.
Here’s an example of us trying to be fair in our response to criticism that we are overly negative
We’re certainly getting some stick for our views. It’s not pleasant but the support has been so overwhelming that it’s easy to keep going. Here’s my response to a Tory MP who criticised me for my views. Let us know your views.
‘For the last 15 years I’ve recommended that there should be no National Insurance as an incentive for a start-up to take on their first employee. I also backed Julie Meyer’s recommendation that micro businesses (she said less than a £1m profit) should not pay NI. So it was churlish of me not to be grateful for the £2,000 off NI bills. To put the record straight; I am grateful.’ In fact it is the most benefit to small businesses of any budget I’ve seen in my 26 years of trading.
I also made it clear that the concerns I have are with all political parties and UK government favouring, often unfairly, bigger business. Such is this inequity that I would prefer Government to stop all funding and support to the private sector as that would be fairer and would allow more resource to go on the essential public services – health and social care are now in a bad way the big corporates are not.
However, it is also true that I said that the arrogant and elitist behaviour of many politicians of all parties showed, by their words and actions on Budget Day, that they do not understand the real world of enterprise or care about any sections of society that are struggling to make ends meet.
They do not understand why most business owners are now tired of seeing vote catching schemes to benefit the 5% of largest private sector companies and the highest paid, that are too important for us to lose to other countries despite what they’ve done to ours.
Big Business is doing OK. It is sitting on £730 billion in deposits, 47% of our GDP, and payimg less corporation tax and their top executive remuneration packages are booming, year on year. Is it too much for us to ask that Government ask the energy companies to reduce charges, passenger transport to improve their services, comms companies to provide free wifi in public places, like many other countries?
Government, all parties would do this, pours more and more £billions into enriching the Financial Sector in order for it to lend more yet most new businesses and small and micro business owners would prefer improved cashflow. That’s easy. Government can specify in contracts that those corporates that supply Government or are beneficiaries of government funding pay all their suppliers within 30 days. It’s not difficult for Government to create an enterprise culture – other countries do.
They do not understand that the majority of the 4.5 million Micro Business Owners (95% of all business) in the UK work as hard and long as MPs but are earning less than a third of most MPs’ expenses claims. We are working hard, we are working smart and we love what we do. But the gloss of some great help for businesses of all sizes, with the excellent £2k cut from the NI bill, is lost in the extra support provided to Big Business. Enterprise Rocks.’