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Government lets down small businesses

A new poll reveals that small businesses feel let down by the government’s lack of support.

The survey was carried out by SIFO Research International for Företagarna, the Swedish association of small businesses.

According to the poll, the ongoing lack of simplified regulations is the biggest sore point for small business owners, despite government claims to have been actively working on the problem since coming to power in 2006.

According to Företagarna’s managing director Anna-Stina Nordmark Nilsson, small businesses are at the forefront of growth and new jobs in Sweden and deserve better, “the Alliance government should be forced to work on this during the summer holidays.”

Lisa Wärn, a spokesperson at the Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications, told The Local that Minister for Enterprise Maud Olofsson “hadn’t commented on the poll as she is in meetings all day.”

Small business owners continue to harbor high hopes that the government will make reforms within taxation. Nearly every third business owner expects improvements regarding taxation, regulations and labor costs in the future.

However, most business owners have absolutely no faith in the government’s intentions to make user friendly reforms within employment law and insurance.

The poll was conducted with 4300 randomly selected companies throughout Sweden. The companies’ size varied from one to 49 employees.

CHRISTMAS

Recipe: How to make Swedish Christmas rice porridge

With Christmas just around the corner, here is a recipe for traditional Swedish festive rice pudding.

Recipe: How to make Swedish Christmas rice porridge
Swedish rice pudding. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food

Risgrynsgröt (rice porridge) has been an important Swedish dish for centuries. It can be served at any time of the year, and is almost always served at julbord (Christmas buffet). 

Summary

Serves 4 large portions

Cooking: 45 minutes

Total: 45 minutes

Ingredients

150g pudding (short-grain) rice

300ml water

½ tsp salt

700ml milk

1 cinnamon stick

1 ½ tbsp caster (superfine) sugar

15g butter

ground cinnamon for dusting 

Method

1. Put the rice, water and salt in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Add the milk and cinnamon stick. Mix well and heat until the mixture is hot, but don't let it boil.

3. Cover again and leave the pudding on a very low heat until the rice has absorbed all the milk. This will normally take between 30 and 45 minutes. Don't stir the rice and keep it covered as much as possible. 

4. Once the milk has been absorbed, remove from the heat and leave covered for another 10 minutes. Then stir in the sugar and butter.

5. Serve lukewarm, dusted with ground cinnamon. At Christmas, hide an almond in the pudding before serving.

Tips

– Take care in stage 3 as the pudding will burn very easily.

– This recipe is based on a traditional Swedish recipe which was for 4 people, but I think it could easily serve 8.

– A creamy cold version, called Ris a la Malta, is served with a fruit sauce and is perhaps even more popular.

Recipe courtesy of John Duxbury, founder and editor of Swedish Food.