Feeds

Brit micro-biz needs tax breaks, promotion, cuddles

And that could mean you

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

Britain’s creative micro-businesses – spanning fields as diverse as software, music and fashion – are the key to growth, according to a new study.

Centre-left think tank Demos finds that these outfits, typically employing fewer than five people, are more resilient than other sectors, and recommends several measures to nurture the micros, which it says are badly treated at present by the civil service and economic beancounters.

Co-author Helen Burrows says that creative industries make a significant contribution to the UK economy, but 90 per cent employ fewer than five staff. This isn’t recognised by policymakers, say the authors. The Demos Report – Risky Business – dispels the notion that micro-businesses are an employment risk. Their perky performance during the downturn shows them to be the healthiest sector of the economy.

Demos recommends that these companies should retain ownership of their own IP rather than sign it away to a client. It urges the BBC to implement this right away and strengthen creators' rights in the next BBC charter renewal. The wonks also recommend lower corporation tax on profits derived from copyright – similar to the "patent box" break. Demos also recommends changes in Blue Book accounting, and a dedicated growth unit within the civil service, which it says either ignores the micros or creative industries altogether.

(Currently copyright is handled by the IPO, a BIS agency – and the Spartist bureaucrats there give the impression they would be delighted to see intellectual property abolished.)

"Property is theft, comrade"
- IPO officials drawing up another IP strategy paper

Software companies are the largest component of the creative industries, by Demos’ own definition, with 44.9 per cent of the sector. Advertising, publishing, design, architecture, music, fashion, TV, radio, film, video and photography make up the rest. Innovation in these drives significant demand in other sectors, Demos points out. Publishing and advertising tends to have larger companies.

Despite the jargon – “between them they have a good handle on the policy place where industrial hits cultural”, we learn in the intro – this is a welcome contribution to the debate. Leftish think tanks and academics haven’t exactly rushed to the support of small creative businesses before.

Many software developers will welcome a reward for their labour – and the recognition that their work is creative. To earn a break from the "copyright box", goods and services may be stamped with a kite mark. How would that apply to B2B software, we wonder? ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple ran off to IBM
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.