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 Conservatives' small business manifesto:

Red tape

Red tape is widely considered to be a big barrier to small business growth in the UK. A Conservative government would cut red tape by £10 billion during the next parliament.


The Tories have pledged a “disadvantages faced by the self-employed”. With as much as 15% of the UK's workforce now self-employed, some are struggling with things like maternity pay and pensions. The Conservatives have called for an "urgent review".

Business rates

The Conservatives have not gone as far as other parties as to commit to abolishing, cutting or freezing business rates. But the party has pledged to conduct a review of business rates in a bid to help High Street businesses “striving and grafting and trying to do their best”.

Start-up loans

You only need to look through the Fresh Business Thinking news and business advice sections to see that access to finance is a big problem for the UK's new businesses. Another Conservative government would treble the number of start-up loans given out to 75,000.

Government contracts

The Conservatives would target a third of government contracts going to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Broadband and rail

Broadband and rail networks play a major part in the Conservatives pledge to invest £100bn in UK infrastructure during the next parliament.

National Insurance Contributions

A Conservative government would extend the Employment Allowance until 2020, which reduces businesses National Insurance Contributions bill.


Following a strong media focus on apprenticeships in recent months, the Conservatives have pledged the deliver 3,000 apprenticeships over the next five years.

Explore other small business manifestos: Labour, Liberal Democrats, UKIP, Scottish National Party, Green Party, Plaid Cymru.

Which party are you voting for? Cast your vote in our poll.