Faster broadband is a West Sussex election issue for businesses

  • Accurate business plans are hard to achieve with government changes to the law
  • Government needs to help businesses to help themselves
  • Online businesses are hampered by slow broadband

A SMALL business owner has said the government needs to help businesses to help themselves by reducing the red tape and providing more consistency.

Karen Griffin, owner of the lettering and signwriting company called Griffin Designs, in Stockbridge Road, Chichester said many of her family members owned their own businesses and they all agreed business owners could find it difficult to keep up with changing policies which they have to abide by.

A promise to keep the red tape down would be a lovely one

“A promise to keep the red tape down would be a lovely one,” she said. “There’s so many changes to staff employment.

“One minute they’re talking about putting minimum wage up, then there’s paternity leave changes and holiday rules that impact on small businesses.

“When you only employ a few people, it’s so expensive to think you might lose someone for weeks.

“We do a one, three and five-year business plan and I’m sure a lot of businesses do, but it’s hard to make these accurate when the government changes things.

“They need to help us to help ourselves.”

Mrs Griffin added that it made life particularly difficult for business owners when the government brought in retrospective policies.

What is more, she said it would improve continuity if each government was in power for more than five years at a time as she said they spend nearly half of their time in power either settling into their role or gearing up for the elections.

Mrs Griffin added that her business would greatly benefit from faster broadband speeds.

“We are less than two miles from the city centre but our broadband is so slow.

“We are mostly online now so that’s something that really holds us back.”

She added that it would help small business owners if the government made it easier to apply to those grants and support services which are available.

“There was a £2,000 business development grant available which wasn’t promoted.

“It’s very hard to find out what we are entitled to and how to claim it and how to get any help at all.”