By Jonathan Davies

With election day looming, we're taking a look at the pledges being made by the parties that will affect you, the UK's businesses.

With the polls open on Thursday, if you're undecided you might just want to take a look at how your business could be affected after the general election. Or perhaps you'll be swung a pledge you haven't seen before.

Here is the Labour small business manifesto:

Business rates

One of Labour's headlines small business policies is business rates. Ed Miliband's party says it would cut, and then freeze, business rates on 1.5 million smaller commercial properties.

Access to finance

A Labour government would address the gap in access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by creating a "British Investment Bank", which sole purpose will be to provide loans. Labour says it will "have the resources to improve access to finance for small and medium-sized businesses, and will support a network of regional banks".

Zero-hours contracts

Labour would ban "exploitative" zero-hours contracts by guaranteeing a job for anyone on a zero-hours contracts for more than 12 weeks.

Minimum wage

Labour also pledges to raise the National Minimum Wage (NMW) to £8 an hour by 2019. The policy has drawn criticism from the SME community which claims it would difficult to pay. Mr Miliband said it would be paid for "by using government procurement to promote the Living Wage" and giving "tax rebates to businesses who sign up to paying the Living Wage in the first year of a Labour government".

VAT and tax

Labour has promised not to raise VAT.

Government contracts

The Small Business Administration would be responsible for ensuring that government "contracts are accessible and regulations are designed with small firms in mind".


A Labour government would scrap the fees system introduced by the coalition government in a bid to reduce the number of costly employment tribunals.

Explore other small business manifestos: Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, UKIP, Scottish National Party, Green Party.

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