Business leaders have called on Prime Minister Keir Starmer to “plant the seeds of small business growth” in the first few months of his new Government.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has set out ideas to support small business owners, from tackling poor payment practices to reforming the business rates system.

The association also urged Labour to introduce a Small Business Bill to enshrine in legislation “much-needed” changes to better support small firms and the self-employed.

FSB’s policy chair, Tina McKenzie, said: “The clear result of the General Election gives hope that political stability can lead to economic stability and recovery.

“There’s a golden chance in the first 100 days of this new administration to plant the seeds of small business growth, and there are a range of policies FSB hopes the new Government will bring forward.

“These include measures to ease the cost of doing business and support investment and expansion, from tackling poor payment practices by big businesses to their smaller suppliers to reforming the not-fit-for-purpose business rates system.

“Supporting and growing small businesses is good for jobs, good for communities in all parts of the country and good for the whole economy.”

In its manifesto, Labour pledged to introduce new legislation and regulatory reforms designed to “significantly” benefit small businesses.

It promised to replace the business rates system with a new system that will level the playing field between the high street and online giants.

Its “fully-funded” plans also include unlocking the supply of finance for businesses looking to grow and stamping out late payment of invoices to small businesses, requiring large businesses to better report on their payment practices to expose late payers.