3 May, 2020 – London: The UK’s leading entrepreneurship organisations have united in an unprecedented manner as part of an emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic to establish the Business Action Council (BAC) – a coalition that will streamline the voices of more than 500,000 businesses across every sector and region within the United Kingdom.
In the wake of the Prime Minister’s call to build the biggest possible consensus from business in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the formation of the BAC marks the first occasion that business organisations have joined together at such a scale in the spirit of collective action.
The BAC’s primary mission is to act as an instrument that provides Government with a more coherent perspective from business. It is developing well-evidenced policy proposals that balance the competing demands of the wide range of businesses represented and provide expert, holistic advice to protect business resilience and restore confidence.
At a time of significant economic upheaval brought on by the spread of COVID-19, the Council brings together leaders from the most significant institutions that represent the UK’s business community to build consensus, allowing them to respond quickly and collectively to Government. Its founding members include the largest such organisations – the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the Institute of Directors (IoD), the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), and the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).
The BAC’s work is currently informed by six specialist working groups, which are developing high-quality policy proposals and analysis to guide the Government’s response to the pandemic, which are endorsed by the entire Council. Policy proposals in five of the following areas have already been submitted to Government. The below lists all six working groups and more are being added:
- Future of Finance: Providing assessment of the immediate impact on entrepreneurial businesses of COVID-19, and available remedies; assessment of the role finance will play in a post-COVID-19 ecosystem for such businesses; and strategic solutions in support of our entrepreneurs and their businesses in the medium to longer term
- Employee Retention: Fine-tuning the government’s furlough scheme with the aim of protecting employment and enabling employees to return to work safely
- Peer support: Providing solutions for how entrepreneurs pool experience to support one another through the COVID crisis and beyond
- SME Tax: Creating a tax framework that puts SMEs at the heart of the recovery
- Supporting High Growth Start Ups: Applying international best practice in supporting the early stages businesses that will play a leading role in the recovery to the UK context
- Real Estate Reform: Protecting landlords, tenants and construction firms throughout business disruption and help them safely exit the lockdown
The lifespan of the BAC and its working groups will be determined by the progress made on addressing the policy requirements. The BAC is chaired by Maurice Ostro OBE.