Small businesses

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on small businesses. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Standard Notes

04.09.2014Business support schemes - statistics
Statistics on take up and cost of Government schemes that support businesses and SMEs
14.07.2014Business statistics
Businesses since 2000, small businesses, business by region, businesses by industry, business births and deaths and information on female representation in business. It also features some discussion of the sources of business statistics and their coverage.
27.06.2014New Enterprise Allowance
The New Enterprise Allowance is a government scheme designed to help unemployed people who want to start their own business.
13.06.2014Small businesses and the UK economy
This note presents a statistical analysis of small businesses in the UK, the role of small businesses in international trade, small businesses and GDP, small businesses and tax receipts and information on government policy towards small businesses.
04.02.2014Late Payment of debts
This note provides a history of the UK's legislation on late payment of debts.

Research Papers

10.07.2014Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill
The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill will receive its Second Reading in the House of Commons on 16 July 2014.
03.03.2009Small Business Rate Relief (Automatic Payment) Bill (Bill 13 of 2008-09)
The purpose of this Bill is to make the payment of rate relief for small businesses in England automatic. Currently, businesses have to apply to their billing authority once within each revaluation period (five years) to receive the relief during this period.
25.11.2008Small Business, Insolvency and Redundancy
HC Research Paper 08/87 Small Business, Insolvency and Redundancy
08.07.2008Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Bill [HL] Committee Stage Report
16.05.2008Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Bill [HL] 2007-08
Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Bill (HL) 2007-08. (Bill 103 of 2007-08). House of Commons Library Research Paper 08/46.

Select Committee Reports

15.02.2011The new local enterprise partnerships.
Government response. Department for Business, Innovation and Skills; Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee report [Commons]
19.11.2010The new local enterprise partnerships.
Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee report [Commons]
30.03.2010Market Failure?
Communities and Local Government Select Committee report [Commons]
01.03.2010The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Venture capital support to small businesses.
Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]
12.10.2009Market failure?: can the traditional market survive? Government response to the Communities and Local...
Government response. Communities and Local Government report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House remains concerned at the high level of unemployment, currently at 2.5 million; notes research from the Federation of Small Businesses which shows that 44 per cent. of ...
That this House recognises that the Government has hailed exporting as a potential driver for economic growth; further recognises that exporting offers huge potential for small businesses ...
That this House expresses concern at recent findings from the Federation of Small Businesses that show around 84 per cent. of small businesses are not approaching the banks for credit ...
That this House recognises that small businesses are not just part of the local community, but are the local community; further recognises that the UK economy is driven by small businesses; ...
That this House recognises that the UK's tourism industry contributed over 115 billion to the UK economy in 2009; notes that the Federation of Small Businesses has recently released ...

Lords Library Notes

26.06.2014Consumer Rights Bill (HL Bill 29 of 2014-15)
The Consumer Rights Bill makes provision for the reform of consumer law in the UK and connected areas of law. This Note summarises the Bill's report stage and third reading in the House of Commons.
30.04.2014Debate on 6 May: Actions Taken Following the Publication in 2013 of the Report of the Select Committee on Small and Medium Sized Enterprises
This Library Note examines what developments have occurred since the Government's response to the report of the House of Lords Select Committee on Small and Medium Sized Enterprises was published in May 2013.
12.07.2013Debate on 18 July: Role of Government in Generating Economic Prosperity and Employment
This Note outlines recent data on the performance of the UK economy, announcements by the Government for capital spending, spending on research and development and action to help businesses gain access to funding. It also looks at proposals for the Government to take more of a role in managing growth, in particular whether the UK needs a more coherent and long-term industrial strategy.
19.04.2012Sunday Trading (London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games) Bill [HL] (HL Bill 139 of 2010-12)
This Library Note provides background information on the Sunday Trading (London Olympic and Paralympic Games) Bill due to have its second reading in the House of Lords on 24 April 2012.

POST Papers

15.07.2014Big Data and Business
POSTnote exploring how big data is being used by UK companies and the challenges and opportunities it presents.


  • Research Papers (RP) - briefings produced by the House of Commons Library on Bills, topical issues and regular statistics
  • Standard Notes (SN) - shorter, topical briefings from the Commons Library
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POST Notes - short briefing notes produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - papers compiled by the House of Lords Library on Bills and for debates in the Lords
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses