Uncertainty is not usually a good thing in business, but there are positives to be found from the current political instability.

Don't get me wrong: I know that stability is vital for economic confidence. But in a hung parliament, the mathematics of government means that at least two parties have to agree on a policy before it becomes law, and that has a definite upside for small businesses.

Since 1979, parliament has largely been a debating chamber with a rubber stamp attached. For a generation, if the dominant party hierarchy decided on a policy, it has generally happened, regardless of any grass-roots opposition. Lobby groups acting on behalf of the small store industry have made great progress in recent years in smoothing out the rough edges of proposed legislation but, despite their best efforts, they were ultimately unsuccessful in preventing measures such as the tobacco display ban from being forced through.

But under the new political structure, it is likely that the full impact of new proposals might be properly scrutinised and suitably amended before being passed, and that political parties will be forced to focus on solving the big problems rather than legislating for the sake of it. That means that the flow of red tape and new regulations that we have been used to in recent years can at last be stemmed, and no one will complain about that.