Parliament's decision to push for a General Election on 12 December 2019 has prompted a mixed reaction from business groups.

MPs overwhelmingly backed Prime Minister Boris Johnson's call to hold an election by 438-20, with the bill set to be fast-tracked through the House of Lords.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) welcomed the opportunity and urged owner-operators to focus on domestic policies in political party manifestos.

Mike Cherry, chairman of the FSB, said:

"The last three years have been dominated by the B-word, with much of the domestic agenda falling by the wayside.

"It is time to resolve the many domestic challenges, such as radically reforming business rates and tackling the looming apprenticeships funding crisis."

The Institute of Directors (IoD) called for calm while acknowledging an election would do nothing to relieve short-term stress going into Christmas.

Jonathan Geldart, director-general at the IoD, said:

"Directors want to see all parties stick to sensible, achievable plans that enable the country to move on from the Brexit stalemate and start addressing the numerous other challenges facing enterprise.

"We have to make up for lost time in areas from skills gaps to infrastructure, and business leaders will not wish to see these issues go ignored during an election."

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