Research by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP has revealed that nearly one in seven Cornish businesses do not contact their local regulators because they are afraid it will trigger an inspection.
13% of the businesses that responded to a survey, conducted on the LEP website Business-Pulse, said that they do not make contact with Cornwall Council’s regulators because they are afraid of enforcement.
Despite this perception, enforcement action is “extremely rare” with less than one in every 2,000 visits resulting in prosecution.
More than half of responding businesses listed difficulties of finding what they need on the Council’s website or getting hold of the right person for advice as their top regulation ‘gripe’.
Through the Better Business for All initiative, the LEP is now working with Cornwall Council and other partners, including the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce and Federation of Small Businesses, to address these issues.
This includes supporting the Council to develop a clearer, more positive style of communication with businesses and making it easier for businesses to find the information they need in order to comply with the law.
LEP board director, Simon Tregoning, said: “Too many of our businesses are afraid to pick up the phone to speak to the regulators.
“It’s natural to be nervous about enforcement, but there is more that could be done to break down the barriers between businesses and regulators. We will be working hard to get the message out that regulators and businesses can work together.”
“I would like to thank everyone who took part in our survey. Their feedback is helping us reduce the regulatory burden on businesses, a priority for the LEP.”