Population: 1.84 million Area: 5,345 sq. miles GDP / inhabitant: £15,800
Simplify access to funding for SMEs Promote access to finance through local loan programmes Establish a business networking e-platform Organise high profile events to promote different entrepreneurial sectors where entrepreneurs DECIDE what is best for them Develop Entrepreneurial eco- system that maps out opportunities for young entrepreneurs Establish a physical and cultural environment conducive to economic growth and business creation.
Reduction in Corporation Tax from 2016 will not cure our economy on its own (66% public sector) Present Programme for Government and Economic Strategy refer to micro businesses and local economies as vital but few bottom up interventions Start a Business Scheme supports start up but what about the conditions for enterprise, e.g. Retail / Artisan improvement zones (Lowell, Massechusetts)
Reduction in Corporation Tax in NI from 2016 will keep more profit within SMEs UK = 20%, IRL = 12.5%, NI = ?? State Aid Rules means Cost is £200-300 million p.a. SMEs need infrastructure, local authorities and regional government can create the conditions and the places
Northern Ireland Assembly and Civil service undergoing reform. 20,000 public sector posts to go over the next 5 years Lowest Business start rate in UK Reduction of the number of Government Departments – Budget cuts Local authorities have just been merged from 26 to 11and have additional functions Northern Ireland’s economy is too reliant on public employment...but change is coming and businesses want it.
New Council Community Plans: All partners must align their priorities to that of the area community plan. NILGA plays a crucial role to bring closer the two tiers of government and avoid duplication and complexity NILGA is lobbying for simplification of process with EU Managing Authorities to ensure that the end user gets the benefits of financial assistance, not the time- consuming administration/auditing of projects
Devolution of functions to local authorities are going to simplify processes for the end-user BUT local authorities need to ensure that their reporting responsibilities will not be burdensome. The 11 Councils should provide a framework where people who make decisions on business are entrepreneurs themselves. The 11 Councils need to create a networking platform representing entrepreneurial interests to government and other public bodies to allow partnership & cooperation and to foster relationships based on PRAGMATISM & TRUST.
De-institutionalise from the top. It must be a political imperative De-categorisation of businesses: ALL small businesses should be given broadly the same opportunities (from stall holders to small exporters). Although technology is seen as the panacea for growth, we need to remember traditional industries and “hand down” skills before they are lost or forgotten. “the life so short, the craft so long to learn” - Hippocrates
The Small Business Act – Make Public Administration responsive to SME needs – Think Small First – Create the right environment for SMEs Direct statutory link between tiers of government and agencies, performance managed, using business growth drivers, not public sector data Create actions underpinned by the SBA Learn from – but compete with - others Some answers lie in the Cities and Regions (Lowell, pop 103,000, 6,000 jobs and 2000 SMEs in 20 years through City reinterpreting Federal, & State “Red Tape”
Competing and duplicating campaigns like Living / Minimum Wage, Corporation Tax and VAT Tax reductions, Strategies for Skills, strategies for technology like Broadband, should be depoliticised Cities and regions with autonomy to compete will mean “universal growth” is a panacea – it will be partial NI is a medium sized City = Self Help is Key (Roads, Technology, Infrastructure, Competitive Region, Tourism, GVA drivers)
.'Business is the most powerful institution on earth today. It is more powerful than politics. Business serves us very well in some ways, but it doesn't serve us as fully as it should; it doesn't serve us fully as people.' Michael Rennie, Director, McKinsey & Co. If we govern well / simplify our relationships with business and create conditions for growth, then sustainable prosperity is achievable for many Avoid growing inequality Avoid creating public sector solutions