The 2011 Budget – A Lost Opportunity to Support New Businesses

25 Mar 2011

The Muslim Council of Britain welcomes all efforts to support entrepreneurship in the UK however feels the Budget has not gone far enough to nurture the green shoots that can finally be seen.

Encouraging Muslim entrepreneurs means support for micro businesses and start-up of less than five people, not only focusing on SME (5 or more employees). The Budget has saved micro-businesses from some regulation but very little else has been offered to support start-ups which have very different requirements from small businesses. An example of this in the Budget is apprenticeships, which sound good but will be of little use to micro businesses with no premises or infrastructure. This is a lost opportunity to support innovation at an entry level and this will impact growth especially in the Muslim community where a large number of people are trying to start businesses.

For small business owners in the Muslim community there is some good news with the reduced Corporation Tax and Enterprise Zones if you are close to one. However as can be seen in Canary Wharf, a successful zone does not automatically help surrounding communities facing social or economic problems such as in Tower Hamlets. It will however definitely benefit the businesses that move there and this is welcome.

The Vice Chair of the MCB BEC Committee, Mr Khalid Sharif said, “There are definitely some crowd pleasers in this Budget such as the Enterprise Zones, but we feel it has missed an opportunity by failing to adequately create the right conditions for those starting or running micro businesses. This is a serious failing in the long term growth strategy.”

Notes to Editors:

1. The Muslim Council of Britain is the Uk’s largest Muslim umbrella body with around 500 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.

2. BEC – Business and Economics Committee