Covid-19 has affected all businesses but the ones worst affected are the ‚’people businesses‚’. Shops can develop their online profiles but those businesses that rely wholly on personal contact or large groups of people being together, will have suffered severely and many will have closed for good.
We need a ‚’phoenix trust‚’ to help to resurrect those businesses that have suffered most, to proffer help and advice and to have the power to engineer a favourable environment for the many fledgling businesses in their early stages.
I believe in Matt Ridley‚’s concept that success always arises from the ‚’bottom up‚’ approach and not from top-down legislation. So, what is needed is enabling legislation ‚’ policies that give greater freedom to individuals and to businesses. A GENUINE loosening of red tape and restrictive bureaucracy, plus innovative tax breaks that encourage start-ups. (I cite the example of how Canary Wharf developed, given freedom from planning restrictions.)
The Covid pandemic has occurred concurrently with Brexit and businesses are having to live with both problems for the next few years. With that background, we should be encouraging businesses that help the UK to become more self-sufficient. I‚’m not an isolationist, but self sufficiency gives greater security and also means less transport costs, with consequent environmental benefits. In five years‚’ time there will be further negotiations with the EU over fishing rights and energy supply. If the UK is self sufficient in energy by then, we will have greater leverage and flexibility.
In summary, the opportunity is there for individuals and small businesses to rise again. We need to avoid heavy-handed & inflexible policy making. We need to make it easy for businesses to start and to thrive. There will be short-term costs but I believe these will quickly amortise.