Leaving No Stone Unturned in the Search for Economic Stimulus
Not least among these truths is the complete lack of a coherent growth plan at national level, coupled with a fragmented and weedy approach through insufficiently funded LEPs to boosting the regional economies. That we have been told by the Chancellor numerous times that “we have a plan” to my mind simply demonstrates a failure to recognise what a decent plan looks like.
What we need in these almost unprecedented times is a refreshed approach based on different thinking; an approach that is entrepreneurial and this includes how we go about supporting businesses.
Despite the good that Yorkshire Forward did to put Yorkshire on the map, it came at a price that in today’s money seems far too high. We and should no longer expect the public sector to properly understand how business people think and act as they have never experienced these pressures for themselves. There is no sensible parallel between the pressures that civil servants face in their salaried jobs and the day-to-day cashflow and prioritisation concerns of business owners. These can often be a weekly or even daily fight for survival, for example in the face of banks who don’t lend and an incoherent business support landscape. The most obvious proof of this can be seen with the broad failure of Business Link to deliver the type of hands on help that business owners needed.
Nor can we expect a centralised government to adopt policies that take account of local drivers if they are imposed nationally in a one size fits all approach. I await with fascination the outcome of the consultation currently taking place as to how the next round of European structural fund projects is set up as it will demonstrate to what extent the public sector has ‘got it’: my bet is that it involves all of us (private, public and third sectors) getting our sleeves rolled up locally to implement projects that will benefit our communities at a much more grass roots level than those that used to come from the ivory towers of Yorkshire Forward. Think what you want about the Big Society initiative but it’s now a case of needs must. We do not have the money to waste on expensive and inflated infrastructure any more.
Public bodies are squealing that their budgets have been slashed and for the time being there appears to be no light at the end of the tunnel for the public sector. As private sector entrepreneurs, it’s up to us to use our experience to help fill that gap. We have to be prepared to work collaboratively and constructively to make the difference that society needs and to battle some old vested interests who stand to lose power as a result of this movement along the way.
We at Business Doctors recognise this deficit – which is why we ‘get on the pitch’ to help our clients. We are there for businesses that want to grow regardless of where they are in their life and so to help make our services accessible to companies regardless of size, sector or age, we have put together a new Bite Sized Business Growth Programme for 2013. This is high-quality support, available to all companies entirely free of charge.
See our events pages for full details and we hope to see you in 2013!
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