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Heseltine urges regional spend

The Government was today urged by a former minister to spend more money on boosting economic growth in the regions. Lord Heseltine urged the coalition to produce a long-term strategy for economic growth.

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FSB 'cautious' about Heseltine's economic proposals

The Federation of Small Businesses has said it "welcomed parts" of Lord Heseltine's economic report, but was "cautious about some of the proposals".

The federation's National Chairman, John Walker, said:

Lord Heseltine raises many good points about letting people get on with running their business. The FSB has said that Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) should discuss growth ideas with local stakeholders and should have more resources to identify local economic shortfalls. However, the boards of LEPs must represent all sizes and sectors of local businesses otherwise they will fail. The FSB disagrees that Chambers should be legislated as they do not represent all businesses – particularly self-employed and micro firms.

Mr Walker added:

To create a stable environment for businesses to thrive, the FSB would encourage the Government to look to the success of the US Small Business Administration (SBA). Instead of pooling enterprise funding and central staff, Lord Heseltine should have looked at good practice from across the world, such as the SBA, and recommended a better policy making machine and an agency which co-ordinates small business policy such as lending, procurement and exporting.

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