The Family Business UK Manifesto – Taking the Long-Term View which lists “policies to unleash the potential of the UK family business sector” has received support from business leaders from Rigby Group, Samworth Brothers, Wates Group and ARCO, amongst others.
Published today, the Manifesto sets out a list of key policy recommendations that can provide “enormous potential of the family business sector to support economic growth, family businesses, their workforce, and society at large.”
Family Business UK believes that for too long, political, industry and business decision-making has taken a restricted approach to investment decisions that responds to the priorities of non-family business PLCs, whose priority is to meet shareholder demands for short-term returns on investments.
The UK needs to formulate a growth strategy that encourages and incentivises businesses to focus on longer-term investment opportunities and returns for stakeholders, the environment, and the UK’s role and place in the wider world.
People: Policymakers and business must come together to help family firms to get the best out of their people through investing in skills and opportunities for local communities by:
- Replacing the Apprenticeship Levy with a Future Skills Fund
- Allowing more flexibility on how businesses use the fund for skills
- Removing barriers on spending between home nations
- Encouraging upskilling and career long learning
Growth: Family firms – backed by a clear government agenda – can help to deliver growth, enabling them to invest for the long term to create sustainable businesses and jobs by:
- Developing a Long-term Industrial Strategy, and to publish a Business Tax Roadmap
- Making the new Full Expensing rules for capital investment permanent.
- Reviewing the disparity in the tax treatment of debt and equity financing
- Developing a stand-alone growth and support strategy for mid-sized businesses,
- Raising the eligibility threshold for EIS to 499 employees (the same level as for knowledge-intensive companies) and increase the investment limit.
Ownership and succession: Promoting family ownership and ensuring a smooth transition from one generation to the next also building new companies for the future by:
- Committing to maintain Business Property Relief (BPR) in full
- Updating the rules for BPR to support businesses with joint ventures
- Bringing Business Assets Holdover Relief (BAHR) eligibility into alignment with BPR to enable a smooth transition in ownership between generations
Sir James Wates CBE, Chair of Family Business UK:
“Family businesses are the backbone of the UK’s entrepreneurial landscape, weaving together tradition and innovation.”
“Their unwavering commitment to quality, sustainability, and community sets them apart.”
“I wholeheartedly endorse the manifesto for family businesses in the UK, recognizing their vital role in driving economic growth and nurturing the local fabric of our society.”
Chief Executive of Family Business UK, Neil Davy, said:
“In the UK, we are sitting on an enormous resource of entrepreneurialism in the form of our family business sector.
“This manifesto represents our offer to policymakers, informed by the UK’s family business community and their everyday experience of doing business in helping to solve the big challenges of today and tomorrow.
“If implemented, they will unleash the enormous potential of the family business sector to support economic growth through responsible business practices that benefit the family business, their workforce, and society at large.”