Red tape not business’ greatest concern

Red tape was in fact placed fourth in a recent survey of 1,600 owner managers conducted by mid-tier accountancy firm Grant Thornton in a bid to raise the concerns of this sector of the economy.

Andrew Godfrey, head of growth and development services at Grant Thornton, said: ‘OMBs do not have a real voice in central government. We are going to present the results of the survey to the small companies’ minister.’

The news contrasts with the Institute of Directors’ recent attack on the weight of red tape for business and comments made by Digby Jones, director-general of Confederation of British Industry

‘I am actually worried about so many small businesses where they’re looking for a straw to break the camel’s back,’ said Jones at the survey’s launch.

The CBI’s crusade against the raft of new UK and European legislation particularly in the area of employment was, however, met with greatly differing views of owner managers.

Karan Bilimoria, founder and owner of Cobra Beer, said: ‘People complain about red tape a lot but our personal view is that this is one of the easiest countries in the world to do business in.’

John Barnes, chairman of Galaxy 105FM Yorkshire, urged around 300 owner managers gathered for the event to focus on the running of their businesses and leave the fight on red tape to the CBI.

The survey revealed that the main concerns of owner manager businesses were centred around employment issues with 52% of the respondents judging retaining and motivating staff as the major issues affecting their businesses.

It is a worry so great that it has permeated the entire economy and prompted the government to relax immigration laws to fill the labour gaps.

Other concerns were retirement planning, the tax burden and developing an effective e-business strategy which came eighth in the survey.

  • The Cabinet Office today launched a new section of its website devoted to red tape. The site details the development of regulation since Roman times and the government’s drive to ensure that all new regulation is not only necessary but also fair and effective. The website can be found at


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