Small businesses reveal what they want from new government

More than a third of small company owners rank a sustained economic recovery as the most important priority for the new government, research finds.

Some 35 per cent of the businesses questioned in a survey of more than 2,300 small firms by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) want a sustained economic recovery first and foremost.

FSB national policy chairman Mike Cherry says, ‘This response from FSB members shows businesses want stability and certainty. This requires putting public finances on a sound footing, and then for ministers to give a comprehensive vision for how they will support enterprise followed by a clear timetable for when they will deliver it.’

Other important priorities for business owners are lowering the cost of doing business and ensuring growth in every nation and region of the UK, not just London and the South East.

When asked what issues they would like the government to focus on over the next five years, well over half (53 per cent) said they wanted ministers to reduce the regulatory burden on business, with simplification of the tax system a close second on 51 per cent.

Business owners are also clear that reforming business rates and improving the employability of young people are important benchmarks for the next five years.

As part of the survey, FSB members were also asked to say how confident they are the new government will deliver for small businesses.

Many appear positive with half (51 per cent) saying they are either confident or very confident. However, with over a quarter (28 per cent) claiming to be either unconfident or very unconfident, ministers will have to move quickly to demonstrate that they will truly do all they can to back small business.

Cherry adds, ‘Today’s wide ranging research sends a very clear message on what small businesses want from the new government; a supportive, light touch tax and regulatory environment in which to grow their business, creating prosperity and jobs.

‘Over the five years of this Parliament, our member’s top priorities are to lighten the burdens of regulation and tax, reform broken business rates, support the development and skills of young people, and improve broadband and mobile connectivity.

We look forward to meeting with ministers to discuss how we can help make this happen and continue to foster the economic conditions which allow enterprise to flourish.’

The other main measures respondents want to see are better access to finance (28 per cent) and an increased investment in infrastructure (26 per cent).

Further reading on the election

Ben Lobel

Delphine Hintz

Ben Lobel was the editor of SmallBusiness.co.uk from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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