Business secretary Vince Cable has announced that the focus for future government support for business and industry will be start-ups and entrepreneurial small firms, not aid for bigger companies. Are you worried that this may affect the UK’s attractiveness as a location for, say, the global automotive and aerospace industries?
We should be trying to develop British engineering companies in this country rather than relying on foreign companies coming here (who are more likely to leave when the going gets tough). Since we have managed to sell most of our British companies off the only way to achieve this is to start again with small companies.
Jon Smith, Gloucester
It all depends what 'support' actually means. Start-ups' will give an immediate impact on the number of people unemployed, however if the larger companies don't get support to survive this number is very quickly off set.
Iain Sayer, Oldbury, West Midlands
No. Grant support is only one of the issues in a big business setting up manufacturing in this country. A vibrant, cost effective and innovative indigenous supply chain and a responsive and low bureaucracy government is as important.
John Pearson, Barrow in Furness
Supporting start-ups instead of bigger companies is betting money on niche and tiny market shares, often suppliers to global foreign companies. Let us remember that the bigger companies in our country often export a majority of their products, which is a great strength for the UK. If Cable wants our industry to survive, he needs to feed the lion and the mouse!
Jeremy Lambert, Coventry
Supporting SME's and start-up is exactly what we need to concentrate on to develop both the companies and ideas for the future. Big companies should be strong enough to stand on their own resources - if they are not they will go under anyway. Well done Mr Cable and let’s see if some of the next generation of world beating start-up can't be British!!
Richard Haydock, Meikle Wartle, Aberdeenshire
Helping start-ups and small businesses should have positive effects on transport and other service sectors as many more people become economically more active, doing things they want to do - more motivated, more engaged and more mobile. Helping larger firms, who should be more resilient, generally maintains the status quo.
Cedric Martindale, Carlisle
Supporting start-ups and small firms is great. However, one should remember that it is the large organisations that we mainly depend on for employment and generating the nation’s economic wealth. Surely we should be safeguarding this amidst the current economic situation.
James Foden, Nottingham
I feel the Government of the day needs to focus on the self sufficiency of this country and start supporting its dying business and companies (no matter the size) to ensure we have a future economy and work infrastructure for the future generations of this country.
John Kokott, Bromborough, Wirral
As a business manager working in the SME sector this is encouraging. Previously when we applied for funding for training in Lean or Continuous Improvement techniques for our workforce we were told, “this is for large regional, and international companies only”.
John Bentley, Andover, Hampshire
Many smaller companies can provide a much more stable work environment than a single large one - think Corus, Redcar. Large companies have their place of course, but many small ones spread the risk of redundancies and offer as much support for local communities.
Jon Brabbs, Wakefield
I support the idea. The UK is very weak in start-ups and entrepreneurial small firms in comparison to the USA and other countries. We rely on too much on the big companies that always take advantages of the country without really caring their employees in long term.
Jim Yip, Manchester
This will impact the decision for bigger companies to stay in the UK as very recent experience showed that government direct investment or support for EU funding had a real influence.
John Macdonald, Swindon
After Gordon Brown’s amazing success at making the UK the leader in green technologies and green job creation, Vince may find it a difficult act to follow. I wish him well in making the UK attractive to any type of industry which can create sustainable employment.
Ken Gray, Hitchin
On balance I think this is the right strategy. The big industries have had their day and will slowly drift east. If we are to find something that will sustain us for the next 100 years (not cars, not aeroplanes) then we need the shotgun approach to sow a few seeds and see what grows.
Ian Maynard, Basingstoke
No, it is the right thing to do for the future of the UK. We need to develop completely new industries. The competition to attract existing industries into global centres is just too tough and expensive, we will struggle to be competitive. It is much better value, to support and develop new industries, even though there is a high risk of failure. If any of the ideas takes off, then the place where it originates is the obvious one to be the global centre for it.
John Hopkins, Potterton, Aberdeenshire
Larger companies should be more self-sufficient and sustainable than small firms, reducing the need for government support. However, there needs to be the realisation that big business (automotive production, energy sector etc.) provides a huge source of employment directly and indirectly (in terms of support infrastructure) hence the need for an appropriate balance of government support.
Jonathan Ellis, Oldhamstocks, East Lothian