Business and enterprise minister Mark Prisk has pledged to flatten out the regulatory landscape with the creation of clearer, more straightforward guidance to enable small businesses to operate more efficiently.

Addressing the Local and National Regulators annual conference, Prisk also set out a number of proposals to improve the relationship between businesses and regulators, including greater ‘earned recognition’ - where regulators recognise businesses that support compliance and reduce intervention.

“We understand that Britain’s businesses need to concentrate on what they do best - growing their business, creating jobs and driving forward economic recovery,” Prisk said. “We have made good progress already through One In, One Out, the three-year micro-business moratorium and the Red Tape Challenge - a wholesale review of the entire stock of regulation. The challenge is to transform the regulatory landscape so the system delivers protections while avoiding unnecessary interference in the work of hard-working business people.”

Prisk’s words came just days after Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) chief executive James Lowman publicly challenged deputy prime minister Nick Clegg to do more to reduce red tape for small businesses.

At a meeting of small businesses, Lowman called on Clegg to extend the moratorium on new employment legislation to more businesses, and to reduce burdens from local government and enforcement practices.