House of Commons Library

Policy on small firms 1997-2015

Published Tuesday, November 10, 2015

This Paper describes policy initiatives between 1997 and 2015 designed to meet the needs of small firms. It outlines their original purpose and what happened to them.

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This Paper describes UK government initiatives between 1997 to 2015 which in some way or another addressed the special needs and requirements of small and medium sized enterprises (SME). It covers the 1997-2010 Labour Government and the Conservative Liberal Democrat Coalition Government from 2010-2015. It covers all material introduced in the Budgets reports, pre Budget reports and Autumn Statements. Most measures were effected by subsequent Finance Bills.  Other measures are referred to where relevant.

The measures divide broadly between schemes designed to provide direct access to funding and schemes providing non-financial support to businesses (for example, training and mentoring).

Other sources of support can be found in the relevant Library papers on

Business Rate Relief, Local Enterprise Partnerships, Enterprise Zones, Regional Growth Funds. and Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015.

Commons Briefing papers CBP-7363

Author: Marguerite Page

Topics: Business support, Companies, Small businesses

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