05 March 2013

Chancellor urged to consider small businesses

Chancellor George Osborne has been urged to put small businesses at the heart of his budget by improving access to finance, simplifying the tax system and making business rates relief permanent.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called for a budget for small firms which will open investment opportunities and spur growth and job creation. Incentives to take on new staff are a focal part of the appeal from the FSB, which has asked for a review of how enterprise support is delivered through central and local government.

Access to funding is key

It’s clear that small businesses have the ambition to grow, but a lack of access to funding and long-term capital are restricting the sector’s ability to make strides in the economy. Therefore, the FSB has called for Mr Osborne to speed up the implementation of a Business Bank, as well as encourage non-bank sources of finance.

The calls coincide with new research from Entrepreneur Country which revealed almost half of the entrepreneurs polled said they had to badger friends and family to borrow money to get their business up and running.

Only 12% of people surveyed in the study said they are relying on bank loans to start their venture, and fewer than 1 in 10 are turning to venture capitalists.

John Walker, national chairman of the FSB said: “What we need to hear on March 20th is not more small-scale policies which tinker at the edges but measures that will have a tangible effect both immediately and in the long-term.

“That is why we have asked for a review of enterprise policy, to ensure the right initiatives are in place that really do help small firms start-up and grow. The Business Bank and access to finance have a clear role to play in this, but so too does making it easier to run a business. This is why making it easier to find investment relief, simplifying the tax system and making small business rates relief permanent should be the chancellor’s priority.”