1 month ago
As Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hints at a general election in the latter part of 2024, business owners will need to prepare for potential shifts in the political landscape. In this guide, we explore the key details of the looming election and considerations SMEs should keep in mind in the meantime.
Understanding the timeline for an upcoming general election is crucial for businesses to plan effectively. While the latest date for the dissolving of Parliament is Tuesday, 17th December 2024, the election itself must take place by Tuesday, 28th January 2025. This tight timeframe of 25 working days emphasises the need for proactive planning.
A significant change occurred in 2011 when the power to choose the election date changed hands from the Prime Minister to the House of Commons. Since then, the Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Act 2022 reinstated the PM's ability to call an election at any point within the five-year term.
During the election period, sometimes called ‘purdah’, the Government’s activities are restricted to ensure impartiality. These restrictions primarily impact departmental activities, which could affect ongoing projects. SMEs should consider the potential implications of purdah on their plans.
Depending on the election results, there could be big changes in government priorities and policies. Businesses should anticipate potential shifts in legislation and regulatory frameworks, adapting to align with the political landscape. Staying flexible and informed about the political agenda of major parties is essential to making informed business decisions.
SMEs should read up on the economic policies proposed by the big players and assess how these might impact their industry. From tax rates to trade agreements, understanding the potential changes in economic policy can help businesses prepare for the future.
Given the uncertainty typically surrounding elections, SMEs should ensure their business continuity plans are up-to-date. Your continuity plans should include an assessment of any potential risks, stakeholders' identities and your strategies to mitigate disruption. A well-prepared business will be more resilient in the face of challenges.
SMEs can also play a more active role in the democratic process by engaging with their local candidates. Understanding the position of their constituency’s MP and opponents on issues relevant to the business can provide valuable insights. Additionally, fostering relationships with elected representatives can create better channels for communication.
As the UK gears up for a general election in late 2024, SMEs must proactively assess and respond to the changing landscape. From understanding the election timeline to anticipating shifts in legislation and economic policy, preparation is key. By staying informed and even engaging proactively, business owners can position themselves to thrive.
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